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October 18, 2009

FDA Announces Plans for LASIK Quality of Life Project


In an October 15 press release, The FDA announced its plans to implement a 3 pronged initiative to evaluate "quality of life" issues associated with LASIK.  This study will be implemented in collaboration with the National Institute of Health and the US Department of Defense.  The goal of this initiative is to "determine the percentage of patients with significant quality of life problems after LASIK surgery and identify predictors of these problems."

The 3 phases of the initiative will be:

  1. Design and implement a Web‑based questionnaire to assess patient-reported outcomes and evaluate quality of life issues post-LASIK, some of which may relate to the safety of the lasers used in the LASIK procedure.
  2. Evaluate the quality of life and satisfaction following LASIK as reported by patients in a select, active duty population treated at the Navy Refractive Surgery Center.
  3. A national, multi-center clinical trial and will study the impact of the procedure on quality of life following LASIK in the general population. Patient enrollment in Phases 2 and 3 have yet to begin but plans are under.

According to the release: "The results of the project will help identify factors that can affect quality of life following LASIK and potentially reduce the risk of adverse effects that can impact the surgical outcome. If any of these factors are related to the safety or effectiveness of the lasers used in LASIK surgery, the FDA will evaluate whether any action is necessary. The project is part of the FDA’s ongoing effort to better monitor and improve the safety and effectiveness of the lasers used in LASIK surgery."

I think that this FDA initiative is a wonderful idea.  An organized study such as this can only improve our understanding and outcomes for this incredible procedure.  Once the online survey is made available, EyeCare 20/20 intends to forward the link to all our past LASIK patients so that they may participate in it.  We will also implement a "modified" online survey of our own to compare national results with those of EyeCare 20/20.


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