Purpose To evaluate the characteristics of rhegmatogenous retinal detachment (RD) in patients with previous laser in situ keratomileusis (LASIK) and compare them to RD in patients with previous laser assisted subepithelial keratomileusis (LASEK) and myopic patients with no previous refractive surgery. Design Retrospective, comparative case series. Methods In 106 eyes of 106 patients with RD, patients with previous refractive surgery included 21 eyes after LASIK and 13 eyes after LASEK; 72 myopic patients with refractive errors of -3.0 diopters or less were grouped as the R (-) group. Characteristics of RD included distribution of RD and associated retinal breaks, location and number of retinal breaks, presence of lattice degeneration, and axial lengths. Results The mean interval between refractive surgery and the onset of rhegmatogenous RD was 63.7 ± 43.5 months, occurring across a broad spectrum of time intervals. There were no significant differences among the LASIK group, the LASEK group, and the R (-) group in axial length (26.8 mm vs 26.4 mm vs 26.9 mm, respectively); in mean number of retinal holes/tears, (2.1/1.5, 0.9/1.4, 1.5/1.6, respectively); or in the presence of lattice degeneration (52.4% vs 46.2% vs 43.1%, respectively). Distribution of RD and associated retinal breaks were also not significantly different; retinal holes and tears were more prevalent in the temporal quadrants, and inferotemporal quadrants were the most commonly detached areas in both the LASEK and LASIK groups and in the R (-) group. Conclusions Myopia is a well-known risk factor for rhegmatogenous RD and may contribute more to the development of RD in myopic patients after refractive surgery, rather than refractive surgery itself.
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