Refractive surgery for the patient with autoimmune diseases


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Abstract

Purpose of reviewAutoimmune and immune-mediated diseases are considered contraindications for laser refractive surgeries according to the US Food and Drug Administration's guideline. This guideline, however, is based on limited case reports or complications reported during other intraocular procedures. There have been only a handful of new clinical studies that evaluate the efficacy and safety of refractive surgery in this specific patient population. The aim of this article is to review currently available research and offer updated recommendations for the evaluation and management of laser refractive surgery (LRS) in patients with autoimmune diseases.Recent findingsMore recent retrospective studies have reported good refractive outcomes in patients with well controlled autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, seronegative spondyloarthropathy, among others. No severe sight-threatening complications have been reported in these reports. Although postoperative complications occur, the risk of refractive surgery is comparable with those without autoimmune diseases.SummaryWith the exception of primary Sjogren's syndrome, patients with autoimmune diseases may be good candidates for LRS if diseases are well controlled and have minimal ophthalmic manifestation. Patients should be made aware of the potential surgical complications and be informed of the currently available data. More multicenter and larger prospective studies are needed to compare the refractive outcomes and surgical complications in patients with and without autoimmune diseases. This will help patients make better informed medical decisions.

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