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J Refract Surg. 2012 Jul;28(7):482-7. doi: 10.3928/1081597X-20120615-02.

Flap relift for retreatment after femtosecond laser-assisted LASIK.

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The Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH, USA.



To analyze the results of LASIK retreatment performed by relifting the original femtosecond laser-created flap.


A retrospective analysis was performed on 1298 eyes from 688 patients treated with LASIK using the femtosecond laser to identify 88 consecutive eyes of 71 patients that underwent attempted flap lift to treat residual refractive error. The eyes were separated in groups in which the flap lift was possible or flap lift was not possible to investigate factors that could make flap lifting more difficult. The main factors evaluated were bed and side-cut energy and time between original surgery and retreatment. In addition, all retreated eyes were studied as a group to evaluate the refractive outcomes of flap lift retreatment.


In 10 (11.3%) retreated eyes, flap lift was not possible without risk of flap injury due to strong healing of the original femtosecond laser interface. The group of eyes in which the flap could not be relifted had the attempted retreatment performed a longer time period after original LASIK (10.3±3.3 months) compared to the group in which the flap could be re-lifted (5.24±3.14 months) (P<.001). No significant differences were found between groups in any other parameters, including bed and side-cut energies. After retreatment, 82% of eyes achieved 20/20 or better uncorrected visual acuity.


This study provides clinical evidence that flap lift retreatment after femtosecond laser-assisted LASIK achieves excellent clinical results and is significantly easier to perform in the first 6 to 8 months after primary LASIK.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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