To evaluate clinical outcomes after small incision lenticule extraction (SMILE) with different cap thicknesses in thick corneas.Methods:
Forty patients with central corneal thickness of more than 560 μm were recruited in this prospective, randomized, masked, paired-eye study. Patients were randomized to receive SMILE with a 120-μm cap thickness in 1 eye and 140-μm cap thickness in the other. Uncorrected and corrected distance visual acuity (CDVA), contrast sensitivity (CS), higher-order aberrations (HOAs), and morphologic modifications of corneal architecture were measured during the 3-month follow-up period.Results:
Postoperative refractive outcomes, visual outcomes, CS, and the changes in HOAs were similar between both groups. The persistence of brightly reflective particles in the corneal interface layer was 1388.6 ± 219.5/mm2 in eyes with 120-μm cap thickness and 54.7 ± 8.6/mm2 in eyes with 140-μm cap thickness (P < 0.001). The hyperreflectivity line at the interface layer almost disappeared in all eyes with 140-μm cap thickness, and it still persisted in 43% of the fellow eyes at 3 months postoperatively. The anterior surfaces of lenticules in the 140-μm cap thickness group exhibited more smoothness than in the 120-μm cap thickness group.Conclusions:
There was a lower level corneal wound-healing response after SMILE with a 140-μm cap thickness than with a 120-μm cap thickness, although the thickness of cap creation did not affect visual outcomes by 3 months postoperatively.