PURPOSE: In an investigational procedure, excimer laser photorefractive keratectomy for severe myopia was performed at three clinical trial centers to determine the effectiveness of the multiple zone technique. METHODS: A VisX Model Twenty/Twenty excimer laser (VisX, Santa Clara, California) was used to perform photorefractive keratectomy on 14 severely myopic eyes (- 10.37 to -24.5 diopters) of 12 patients by using a multiple zone technique. Postoperative follow-up ranged from six months to two years; retreatments were performed on four patients, with a follow-up of at least nine months. RESULTS: At six months postoperatively, before retreatment, three of the 14 eyes were within 2 diopters and seven of the 14 eyes were within 4 diopters of attempted correction. Regression of effect to more severe myopia was worse in five eyes treated with nitrogen gas blowing. Retreatments also demonstrated considerable myopic regression. Three patients had loss of two or more lines of best-corrected visual acuity, and these patients also had moderate or severe levels of haze. CONCLUSION: Excimer laser photorefractive keratectomy for severe myopia using a multiple zone technique is associated with considerable regression, haze, and loss of best-corrected visual acuity, especially when performed in association with nitrogen gas blowing.
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