Safety and Efficacy of PRK and LASIK in Pediatric Patients

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Photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) and laser in situ keratomileusis (LASIK) have been used successfully for years in adults to treat myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism.1–3 Excimer laser refractive surgery is currently being investigated in children as a potential treatment for difficult refractive problems such as anisometropia associated with refractive amblyopia and higher bilateral refractive error. Compliance with unilateral contact lens or high-power spectacle correction is notoriously poor, and amblyopia frequently results in cases of anisometropia. Unilateral high myopia has been reported to be the most refractory type of anisometropic amblyopia to treatment.4,5 However, pediatric eyes are different from adult eyes in many ways other than size alone. Normal ocular growth can continue into the midteens, and axial elongation can continue into 20 seconds and beyond in eyes with myopia. The sclera and cornea are less rigid than in adult eyes, and the pediatric cortical visual system continues to actively develop. We reviewed English literature on PRK and LASIK performed on pediatric patients published from 1999 to 2006 and summarized their findings.
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