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Data Snapshot: Corneal and Lens-Based Refractive Surgery

Data Snapshot: Corneal and Lens-Based Refractive Surgery

The Optometric Trends Discovery Group (OTDG) Survey was launched on February 4, 2023. The survey included 141 questions developed and reviewed with the OTDG leadership board. The survey questions explored doctors’ understanding and current practice patterns across a number of areas of optometric care, including presbyopia, astigmatism, corneal therapeutics, ocular surface disease, glaucoma, lid management, corneal refractive surgery, dry AMD and geographic atrophy, and myopia management. Nearly 300 optometrists responded to the survey which was closed in mid-March 2023.

Based on the survey data, 72% of optometrists engage in co-management, with the average respondent overseeing 76 eyes annually. A notable highlight from the findings is that LASIK stands out as the most frequently co-managed and referred refractive procedure, as shown in the figure. We asked Dr. Justin Schweitzer, a refractive surgery specialist and an OTDG Board member who helped shape the survey, what he thinks of this data. He said, he anticipates that LASIK will maintain its dominant position in the next five years, though there may be a slight decline. Conversely, he expect a modest rise in the prevalence of both topography- guided PRK and small incision lenticule extraction (SMILE). The growth in topography-guided PRK can be attributed to technological advancements and the evolution of corneal collagen crosslinking.

According to Dr. Schweitzer, these methods are already being embraced, evident in his practice. As more insights and research emerge on SMILE, he expects its acceptance to grow steadily, fueled by continuous education on the technique and its advantages.

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