PURPOSE: To investigate the long-term clinical outcomes and recurrence patterns of phototherapeutic keratectomy (PTK) in patients with granular corneal dystrophy type 2 (GCD2) exacerbated after LASIK. METHODS: Fifty-one patients (76 eyes) with GCD2 exacerbated after LASIK who underwent PTK between January 2007 and February 2017 were included. Participants underwent ophthalmic examination, including slit-lamp microscopy, corrected distance visual acuity (CDVA), slit-lamp photography, and Fourier domain optical coherence tomography at preoperative and postoperative visits. PTK was performed using VISX S4 IR (VISX, Inc., Santa Clara, CA). Visual acuity, complications, interval, and contributing factors of recurrence were evaluated. RESULTS: The follow-up period ranged from 1 to 108 months (mean: 35.22 months). The mean logMAR CDVA was 0.55 ± 0.43 (Snellen equivalent 20/80) preoperatively and 0.09 ± 0.43 (Snellen equivalent 20/25) at 3 months postoperatively. Forty-five (61.6%) eyes developed biomicroscopic recurrence at a mean of 18.6 months after PTK; 20 (27.4%) eyes developed significant recurrence at a mean of 31.3 months after PTK. The flap removal group demonstrated better CDVA at 3 years after surgery and lower recurrence and complication rates than the flap conservation group. Multivariate analysis revealed that flap removal remarkably reduced the risk of both any sign of and significant recurrence. CONCLUSIONS: PTK improved corneal transparency and visual acuity in patients with GCD2 exacerbated after LASIK, although GCD2 eventually recurred. PTK with flap removal was superior to PTK with flap conservation in terms of visual acuity, recurrence, and complications.
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