Minimal Healing of the LASIK Flap

After LASIK, the flap never recovers normal tensile strength. LASIK flaps may be accidentally dislodged or surgically re-lifted indefinitely. In 2005, researchers at Emory Eye Center, Emory University School of Medicine published their study of human eye bank corneas, which demonstrates the strength of the post-LASIK cornea at the flap interface is only 2% of normal corneal tensile strength. (1)

Long-term weakness of the LASIK interface wound has been confirmed by numerous case studies of late flap dislocation. The FDA website warns that patients who participate in contact sports are not good candidates for LASIK. (2) The medical literature reports occurrence of flap dislocation occuring months or years after LASIK following trauma to the eye during routine activities. (3)

  1. Schmack I, Dawson DG, McCarey BE, Waring GO 3rd, Grossniklaus HE, Edelhauser HF. Cohesive tensile strength of human LASIK wounds with histologic, ultrastructural, and clinical correlations. J Refract Surg. 2005 Sep-Oct; 21(5):433-45.
  2. www.fda.gov/cdrh/lasik/when.htm
  3. Cheng AC, Rao SK, Leung GY, Young AL, Lam DS. Late traumatic flap dislocations after LASIK. J Refract Surg. 2006 May;22(5):500-4