AIMS To evaluate the therapeutic effects of excimer laser phototherapeutic keratectomy (PTK) combined with therapeutic contact lens for painful recurrent corneal erosions (RCE) secondary to bullous keratopathy (BK) not suitable for penetrating keratoplasty.
METHODS Excimer laser PTK was performed prospectively in eight eyes with painful RCE due to BK visually expecting no benefit from penetrating keratoplasty. After mechanical removal of the epithelium, the corneas were ablated with 50 pulses in the central 6.5 mm zone (ablation rate 0.25 μm per pulse) and another 200 pulses for polishing the periphery. After PTK, therapeutic contact lenses were applied for 3 months. The mean follow up period after PTK was 10.9 months (ranging from 6 to 15 months).
RESULTS All patients experienced relief of their pain symptoms after the epithelium healed. Only one patient complained of occasional stinging pain with intermittent recurrence of small bullae. He refused a second treatment because the pain was much less than that before the surgery and quite tolerable. No infection or other complications were noted.
CONCLUSION PTK with deeper ablation and adjunctive therapeutic contact lens is an easy to perform and effective treatment with less recurrence rate for patients with BK and poor visual potential.
- phototherapeutic keratectomy
- contact lens
- bullous keratopathy
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