The primary aims of this study are to assess the prevalence of excimer laser refractive surgery among ophthalmologists in Saudi Arabia, evaluates the satisfaction rates among ophthalmologists who have undergone laser refractive surgery and whether they would recommend the procedure to their immediate family members.
A cross-sectional study surveyed ophthalmologist irrespective of specialty or subspecialty in Saudi Arabia. A self-reported survey tool has been used for data collection. Candidates were contacted by email and WhatsApp messages that introduced the nature of the study and an online link to a survey was included. For those who did not respond to the digital contact, direct survey interviews were conducted at an Ophthalmology conference in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, 2018.
The final study sample was comprised of 183 ophthalmologists. Most of them 107 (58%) reported that they currently are performing laser refractive surgery.There were 73 (39.89%) ophthalmologist who self-reported that they are emmetropic, 110 (60.11%) self-reported themselves as ametropic, not including presbyopia.Of the 110 ophthalmologists with refractive errors, 52 (47.27%) were candidate for laser refractive surgery for myopia, hyperopia or astigmatism. Most of non- candidates attributed the non-candidacy to non- specific reasons and dry eye. Of the 52 participants who reported themselves as candidates for laser refractive surgery, 20 (38.46%) reported that they had undergone laser refractive surgery, and 32 (61.54%) had not. Most of them (50%) reported that they “like to wear glasses or contact lenses. In general, 14 (70%) reported complete satisfaction with the postoperative outcome.Of all ophthalmologists participated in the study, 94% would advise laser refractive surgery to their first-degree relatives.
Excimer laser vision correction among ophthalmologists in Saudi is much higher than the market penetration in the general population reported in other countries. Most of the ophthalmologists who underwent the procedure were satisfied with the outcome.