Rhegmatogenous retinal detachment in myopic eyes after laser in situ keratomileusis: Frequency, characteristics, and mechanism

J. Fernando Arevalo, Ernesto Ramirez, Enrique Suarez, Rafael Cortez, George Antzoulatos, Julian Morales-Stopello, Gema Ramirez, Francia Torres, Rafael Gonzalez-Vivas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: To report the characteristics and frequency of rhegmatogenous retinal detachment (RRD) after laser in situ keratomileusis (LASIK) for the correction of myopia in a large case series. Setting: Private practices, Caracas, Venezuela. Methods: Five refractive surgeons and 31 739 myopic eyes that had surgical correction of a mean myopia of -6.01 diopters (D) (range -0.75 to -29.00 D) participated in this study. Laser in situ keratomileusis was performed in all eyes. Patients were followed for a mean of 36 months (range 6 to 48 months). The clinical charts of patients who developed RRD after LASIK were reviewed. Results: Twenty eyes (17 patients) developed RRD after LASIK. Rhegmatogenous retinal detachments occurred a mean of 13.9 months (range 1 to 36 months) after LASIK. The mean pre-LASIK myopia in eyes that developed an RRD was -7.02 D (range -1.50 to -16.00 D). Most RRDs and retinal breaks occurred in the temporal quadrants (71.4%). Rhegmatogenous retinal detachments were managed with vitrectomy, cryoretinopexy, scleral buckling, argon laser retinopexy, or pneumatic retinopexy techniques. The frequency of RRD after LASIK was 0.06%. Conclusions: Rhegmatogenous retinal detachment after LASIK for the correction of myopia is infrequent. If managed promptly, RRD will result in good vision. Before LASIK is performed, patients should have a thorough dilated indirect fundoscopy with scleral depression and treatment of any retinal lesion predisposing to the development of an RRD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)674-680
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of cataract and refractive surgery
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2001
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems


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