This is a prospective clinical observational study including 200 eyes of 100 consecutive patients with mild to moderate myopia (− 2.0 D to -6.0 D spherical equivalent) and mild (0.0 D to -2.5 D) astigmatism who underwent PRK or tPRK at the Augenlaserzentrum Neu-Ulm, Germany between January and December 2019. After comprehensive information about risks and benefits of the two surgical techniques, patients were free to choose one of the two procedures. All patients provided a signed informed consent form for data collection, evaluation and publication. The research has been carried in accordance with the Declaration of Helsinki. All methods were performed in accordance with the relevant guidelines and regulations, although ethical approval was not required and deemed unnecessary according to national regulations of the Bavarian Medical Association (Bayerische Landesärztekammer (BLÄK) Ethikkommission (ethics committee), Mühlbaurstraße 16, 81,677 München), which states that study projects with anonymized data are not subject to consultation.

All patients qualified for surface ablation according to the German standards for surface ablation of the German Committee of Refractive Surgery (Kommission Refraktive Chirurgie) [18]. The Committee of Refractive Surgery (Kommission Refraktive Chirurgie, KRC), is a joint committee of the German Ophthalmological Society (Deutsche Ophthalmologische Gesellschaft, DOG) and the Professional Association of Ophthalmologists in Germany (Berufsverband der Augenärzte Deutschlands, BVA) and has issued generally applicable criteria for refractive surgical procedures with the aim of preventing unnecessary complications as much as possible (www.augeninfo.de/krc).

Exclusion criteria were unstable refraction, severe ocular surface disease, corneal epithelial pathology, keratoconus, any posterior segment pathology or any previous intraocular or corneal surgery. All patients were advised to discontinue contact lens wear for a minimum of 3 weeks prior to preoperative examination and treatment.

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