Ophthalmology's New Tools May Have Profound Impact on Refractive Surgery

Timothy F. Kirn
JAMA. 1987;257(16):2129-2130. doi:10.1001/jama.1987.03390160015003.
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A NEW SURGICAL PROCEDURE, a growth factor, and a new laser could be a boon to ophthalmology, if their research promise holds out. Many ophthalmologists are optimistic. They hope that adding these tools to their physician's bag will improve the ophthalmic surgeon's ability to change the shape of the cornea and reduce or eliminate refractive errors.

Most say that, although all three are still in the highly experimental stage, they are excited by the potential. And, they say, they think if any (or all) of the three live up to that avowed potential, it could dramatically improve refractive corneal surgery, a field that George O. Waring III, MD, chief of refractive surgery at Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, and director of the Prospective Evaluation of Radial Keratotomy (PERK) study, describes as "constantly in a state of flux, that is, change and development."

Perhaps the most exciting and the most


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