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Postoperative pain perception: LASIK vs LASEK

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Session Details

Session Title: Presented Poster Session: Laser Refractive Surgery

Session Date/Time: Sunday 06/09/2015 | 15:00-16:30

Paper Time: 16:20

Venue: Poster Village: Pod 2

First Author: : J.Dermott -

Co Author(s): :    M. Wevill              

Abstract Details


To compare the perceived degree of pain in patients after routine femtosecond LASIK and LASEK procedures. Patients can then be advised more accurately what to expect postoperatively.


Ultralase Laser Eye Clinics: London & Nottingham


103 Patients recorded their degree of pain after LASIK and LASEK. Pain was assessed using: (1) a Visual Analogue Scale (VAS): The patient drew an intersecting line between a point at 0mm and 100mm to represent pain level after surgery, at 1-2 hours, 4-8 hours, just before going to sleep and the morning after surgery. (2) A questionnaire which assessed the degree of pain after surgery compared to the expected level of pain before surgery.


10% of LASIK patients experienced no pain or discomfort and 28% experienced pain versus the LASEK patients where all experienced pain (45%) or discomfort (55%). Pain levels were maximal at 2 hours postoperatively and LASEK patients were in approximately twice as much pain as LASIK patients. LASEK pain levels reduced to approximately 1/6 of their peak levels by the next morning. LASEK pain levels were worse than expected in 40% of patients and better than expected in 30% compared to 17% and 42% respectively in femtosecond LASIK eyes.


The results of this study can help surgeons to advise patients more accurately about the degree and duration of postoperative pain so that they have realistic expectations. Patients may be less anxious and more satisfied if they are better informed.

Financial Interest:


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