[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
July 1992

Multifocal Corneal Topographic Changes With Excimer Laser Photorefractive Keratectomy

Arch Ophthalmol. 1992;110(7):994-999. doi:10.1001/archopht.1992.01080190100036

• 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.