The Prospective Evaluation of Radial Keratotomy Study is a nine-center clinical trial of a standardized technique of radial keratotomy in 435 patients who had simple myopia with a preoperative refraction between -2.00 and -8.00 diopters. We studied the stability of the refractive error during four years after surgery for each of 341 eyes first operated on that had a single surgical procedure. Between baseline and two weeks after surgery, all eyes became less myopic; between two weeks and three months, 161 eyes (59%) lost 1.00 D or more of the initial effect; and between three and six months, 266 eyes (95%) had a stable refraction with less than 1.00 D change. The change from six months to four years was less than 1.00 D for 246 eyes (72%). There was 1.00 D or more decrease in surgical effect (increased minus power) for 13 eyes (4%), and 1.00 D or more increase in surgical effect (decreased minus power) for 82 eyes (24%). Eyes with larger amounts of preoperative myopia and smaller diameter of the clear zone were more likely to have an increasing effect of the surgery. The duration of this continued increasing effect of the surgery is unknown.
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