Dry Eye Disease After Refractive Surgery

Thomas H. Dohlman, MD; Edward C. Lai, MD; Jessica B. Ciralsky, MD


Int Ophthalmol Clin. 2016;56(2):102-111. 

In This Article


Laser in situ keratomileusis (LASIK) and photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) are the 2 most commonly performed corneal surgeries used to correct refractive errors. In the United States, an estimated 800,000 cases are completed each year.[1] Since FDA approval was granted in 1995 (PRK) and 2000 (LASIK), significant advancements have been achieved, both in instrumentation and technique, rendering these procedures highly accessible, safe, and effective. LASIK and PRK are 2 of the most successful elective surgeries, with an estimated 95% patient satisfaction rate.[2–4]

Despite high patient satisfaction and overall success rates following LASIK and PRK, complications do occur, with dry eye disease being one of the most common. Symptoms of dry eye disease can significantly impact a patient's quality of life, and even interfere with activities of daily living.[5,6] Chronic dry eye has also been associated with refractive regression.[7] After an elective procedure, such as LASIK or PRK, these effects can be especially problematic.