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The 25th Anniversary of Laser Vision Correction in the United States

Authors Joffe SN

Received 31 December 2020

Accepted for publication 24 February 2021

Published 17 March 2021 Volume 2021:15 Pages 1163—1172

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/OPTH.S299752

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Dr Scott Fraser


Stephen N Joffe1,2

1History of Medicine, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA, USA; 2Department of Surgery and Medicine, University of Cincinnati Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH, USA

Correspondence: Stephen N Joffe
Joffe Foundation, 4400 Drake Road, Cincinnati, OH, USA
Tel +1 513 271 0670
Fax +1 513 271 8426
Email [email protected]

Abstract: Laser Vision Correction (LVC) is an elective, self-pay and safe surgical procedure to correct myopia and hyperopia. Since FDA approval 25 years ago, there have been a progression of technological improvements leading to better outcomes and LVC is now one of the safest surgical procedures. With a potential pool of 50 million patients, 6000 trained ophthalmic surgeons regularly treating in over 1000 centers of which 65% are physician owned. Treatments remain low from an earlier peak of 1.4 million to less than 800,000 over last 10 years. The factors preventing patients undergoing surgery have not changed and include the cost of $2000 ± $1000 per eye and fear of laser surgery on their eyes. The latter is overcome by word of mouth referrals and positive social media messaging. In addition, press misinformation and lack of optometrists participating in co-management have not helped grow LVC procedures despite the positive results of the FDA’s Patient Reported Outcomes with LASIK studies known as PROWL. The surgery is quick, and patients can be “in and out” in less than two hours with a rapid recovery, minimal postoperative restrictions and within 24 hours have 20/20 vision. Volume and price drives center and physician profitability with a scheduling capacity of two to four patients’ treatments per hour. Laser vision correction and especially LASIK, remains the treatment of choice for myopic and hyperopic patients wanting to remove their dependency on glasses and contact lenses.

Keywords: LASIK, excimer, optical, contacts, glasses, Covid-19

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