• Excimer laser photorefractive keratectomy can flatten the central cornea, thereby eliminating myopic refractive errors; in older patients, however, presbyopia limits satisfaction. Computer-assisted topographic analysis of corneas after refractive surgery indicates that a minority of patients achieve a multifocal lens effect, such that they maintain reasonable acuity over a range of defocus. We have purposefully attempted to create a multifocal refractive effect and have analyzed the subsequent topographies quantitatively to determine if multifocality was achieved. In corneas not operated on and plastic hemispheres, a fairly small range of corneal powers is observed; the range of powers is increased after a monofocal ablation. After multifocal ablations, a greater spread of surface powers is observed, often with a bimodal distribution, indicative of an apparent multifocal effect. These observations suggest that in some patients undergoing photorefractive keratectomy for myopia, it may be possible to reduce symptoms of presbyopia, although a decrease in image contrast or monocular diplopia may complicate this approach.
Moreira H, Garbus JJ, Fasano A, Lee M, Clapham TN, McDonnell PJ. Multifocal Corneal Topographic Changes With Excimer Laser Photorefractive Keratectomy. Arch Ophthalmol. 1992;110(7):994-999. doi:10.1001/archopht.1992.01080190100036