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March 13, 1987

Long-term Study Evidence Accumulating, but Radial Keratotomy Controversy Continues

JAMA. 1987;257(10):1282. doi:10.1001/jama.1987.03390100016003

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THE LONG-TERM research evidence concerning radial keratotomy—the ocular surgical procedure for correcting myopia by the use of four, six, or eight radial incisions in the cornea—continues to come in, but that information is unlikely to quell the debate and controversy surrounding the procedure. According to George O. Waring, III, MD, FACS, the director of the Prospective Evaluation of Radial Keratotomy (PERK) study, the new evidence is "both good and bad news."

Three-year follow-up results from the PERK study, announced at the most recent annual meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, in New Orleans, found very few potentially blinding complications (1%); but it also found that it is still difficult to predict how much visual correction will be achieved after the surgery (Arch Ophthalmol 1987;105:37-39, 42-51, 86-92). The followup looked at 410 patients from nine major eye centers.

The one-year PERK results had indicated that radial keratotomy did diminish myopia (the