Risk profiles of ectasia after keratorefractive surgery

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Abstract

Purpose of review

To identify and evaluate the risk factors of iatrogenic ectasia after refractive surgery.

Recent findings

We reviewed recently published papers that identified various risk factors associated with ectasia after LASIK, photorefractive keratectomy, small incision lenticule extraction, and other refractive surgical procedures. We also attempted to evaluate the relative contributions of these factors to the development of ectasia following refractive surgery. Forme fruste keratoconus, genetic predisposition to keratoconus, low residual stromal bed thickness (through high myopia, thin preoperative cornea, or thick LASIK flap), and irregular corneal topography have been identified as risk factors for keratectasia development after refractive surgical procedures. A newly proposed metric, percentage tissue altered, has been reported to be a robust indicator for post LASIK ectasia risk calculation. Several cases of keratectasia have also been reported 6 to 12 months following minimally invasive small incision lenticule extraction procedure. Other risk factors associated with iatrogenic ectasia include eye rubbing, young age, and pregnancy.

Summary

Ectasia after refractive surgery is a relatively rare complication which can lead to sight-threatening complications if not detected and treated in time. It is important to continue our quest to improve our methods of identifying absolute and relative risk factors of ectasia and their cut-off values following various keratorefractive surgical procedures.

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