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J Refract Surg. 2013 Oct;29(10):668-74.

Microdistortions in Bowman's layer following femtosecond laser small incision lenticule extraction observed by Fourier-Domain OCT.



To study microdistortions in Bowman's layer after femtosecond laser small incision lenticule extraction (SMILE) using Fourier-domain optical coherence tomography (OCT) and to investigate possible sources and potential visual impacts.


A nonrandomized controlled prospective study enrolled 52 eyes of 29 consecutive patients undergoing SMILE, with spherical equivalent of -6.33 ± 1.88 diopters and 4.2 mm superior incision. The microdistortions in Bowman’s layer were counted at 1 day, 1 week, and 1 month postoperatively and at long-term follow-up. Another 38 eyes of 20 patients undergoing femtosecond laser-assisted LASIK (FS-LASIK) were examined at 1 day and long-term postoperatively as the control group.


Microdistortions in Bowman’s layer were observed by OCT, with no clinically significant corneal striae under slit-lamp microscopy, in 46 eyes (88.5%) on day 1 after SMILE and in 16 eyes (42.1%) after FS-LASIK, with more in SMILE eyes than in FS-LASIK eyes. The amount decreased at 1 week and then remained stable. There were more microdistortions in the center area than in the periphery in both groups. Microdistortions were more in the inferior than the superior quadrant on the first day after SMILE but there was no difference at long-term follow-up. Microdistortions after SMILE were associated with the refractive lenticule thickness and surgery order but had no significant impact on long-term visual outcomes or wavefront aberrations.


Microdistortions in Bowman's layer after SMILE were associated with the refractive lenticule thickness and surgery order. The microdistortions remained stable after 1 week and had no impact on long-term visual performance.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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