Latest FDA Report on LASIK Confirms High Rate of Patient Satisfaction, Says Dr. Greg Parkhurst Who Performed George Strait's Recent LASIK Procedure

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Why would George Strait have his vision corrected with LASIK? Read the FDA report for the latest news on LASIK safety, efficacy and patient satisfaction.

Country Music legend, George Strait with eye surgeon Gregory Parkhurst, MD and primary eye care physician Dr. Art Medina

Results reported by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) on a long-awaited comprehensive study on the safety and efficacy of LASIK were well-received by refractive surgeons in attendance at the recent American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) meeting held in Chicago, according to San Antonio eye surgeon, Gregory Parkhurst, MD, incoming president of the Refractive Surgery Alliance who recently performed LASIK on country music legend, George Strait.

When George was given his options for vision by his long-time primary eye physician, Dr. Arthur Medina, George elected to have LASIK eye surgery. “As laser technology and advanced diagnostics continue to improve, so do our LASIK outcomes,” said Dr. Medina, who works closely with Dr. Parkhurst to provide the latest technology in vision correction surgery. “When patients like George show renewed interest in LASIK, it serves as quiet reinforcement that our efforts to improve the safety, precision and efficacy of LASIK have not gone unnoticed by the general public,” said Dr. Parkhurst.

“I am thankful to the FDA for conducting this comprehensive study and am pleased to help report their findings, said Dr. Parkhurst.” Dr. Medina and Dr. Parkhurst said that the improved LASIK results they and their colleagues are now achieving are why people like George Strait are embracing LASIK with renewed passion. “I was able to ski on the slopes and see my cell phone two days after LASIK,” said Strait. “Today, I'm able to play golf and see my scorecard without any problems at all. I'm very happy with my vision."

The LASIK Quality of Life Collaboration Project (LQOLCP) and Patient Reported Outcomes with LASIK (PROWL-2) surveyed patients regarding their visual symptoms and quality of life before and three months after LASIK surgery. Malvina B. Eydelman, MD, Director, Division of Ophthalmic Device Evaluation, FDA, released results from the LASIK Quality of Life Collaboration Project (LQOLCP), a partnership with the Department of Defense (DOD) and the National Eye Institute (NEI), incorporating data from questionnaires PROWL-1 and PROWL-2 (Patient reported outcomes with LASIK).
The FDA report confirmed that over 95% of the survey respondents achieved 20/20 or better binocular vision. The study also indicated that the prevalence of symptoms such as ghosting, glare, halos, and starburst did not increase postoperatively after LASIK. “In fact, patients with ghosting actually decreased from 33% before surgery to 6% after surgery,” said Dr. Parkhurst.

“We’re obviously extremely pleased with the favorable results reported by the FDA in the extensive study,” said Dr. Parkhurst, who indicated this was the longest, most comprehensive LASIK study ever conducted. Dr. Parkhurst said the FDA report should give confidence to potential LASIK patients who are hesitant to have their vision corrected due to fear or concerns about safety or results.

“The Refractive Surgery Alliance (RSA) is grateful to the FDA, NIH, and DOD for conducting this comprehensive study,” said Dr. Parkhurst. “The data confirms what patients and their refractive surgeons have known for many years: That LASIK is a safe and effective treatment for the correction of myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism.”

Dr. Parkhurst said his colleagues will use this data to continue refining laser vision correction techniques. “Our goal with LASIK is to continually enhance our pre-operative diagnostics and surgical techniques to provide patients a higher quality of vision than is possible with corrective eyewear,” he said. “The Refractive Surgery Alliance sincerely appreciates the need for this type of study regarding LASIK outcomes and we will continue to work to lessen the small percentage of patients who are not fully satisfied with their outcomes.”

Leading refractive industry expert, Dan Durrie, MD was also impressed by the FDA report. “The key positives in the study were that it showed the procedure was extremely safe and that ghosting, glare, halos and starburst went down after surgery. Overall, Patients experienced improved symptoms after surgery and an extremely high satisfaction rate.” Dr. Durrie is the founder and medical director of Durrie Vision in Kansas City, MO.

Approximately 16,000,000 LASIK procedures have been performed in the United States over the past two decades. “The collective experience of the RSA surgeon members suggests that based on its own experience, we believe that the satisfaction rate at three months is not indicative of the final outcome and final satisfaction rate,” said Dr. Parkhurst. “Since the results presented were from only three months after LASIK, the results and satisfaction would be strongly expected to be substantially better after a longer period (i.e. six months), in which any dry eye symptoms i.e. feeling dryness, foreign body sensation and night-vision difficulty would abate.”

Parkhurst cautioned that “occasional complications can occur after LASIK. Fortunately, most are transient. The RSA and many LASIK surgeons around the world are continually striving to make the results better and to eliminate all complications. This report confirms that those efforts are having an impact.”

While there are occasional complications from LASIK, it has among the highest patient satisfaction rates of any procedure; even in this presentation, 99% of the patients stated that they would have this procedure again. We empathize with this small group and will continue to care for them until their concerns are addressed satisfactorily. The RSA and many refractive surgeons around the world are continually striving to make the results better and to eliminate all complications.

The Refractive Surgery Alliance (RSA) has also recently announced that Dr. Parkhurst has been awarded the RSA President’s Award for best-exemplifying the values and mission of the organization at the semi-annual RSA meeting in Chicago, Illinois. Dr. Parkhurst is a frequent author in the Digital Manual of Ophthalmic Surgery and Theory, a new interactive series that presents innovative surgical and medical treatments in the field of Ophthalmology from international thought leaders.

Dr. Parkhurst is recognized nationally as an expert and leader in both cataract surgery and LASIK vision correction who has helped pioneer new trends in refractive surgery worldwide. He was recently named as the first eye surgeon in Texas to meet the criteria to serve as a Certified VisionLock surgeon. To be chosen for the VisionLock program, surgeons must meet 30 FDA, state, local and practice certification criteria and have a superior performance record. Once chosen, these superior physicians are backed by a program which assures patients that if they have difficulty following surgery, their surgeon has an established process to resolve the situation. Less than 5% of eye surgeons nationwide meet VisionLock requirements and provide patients this visual results outcomes insurance coverage free of charge.

Parkhurst NuVision is one of San Antonio’s fastest growing LASIK and cataract centers, and was recently recognized as The Cataract Center of Excellence of San Antonio by LENSAR CEO Nick Curtis. For additional information about this press release, please visit http://www.sanantonio-lasik.com or contact Laura Jackson at 210-615-9358.

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Michael Malley
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