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W.A. Herrmann, C.P. Lohmann, C. Shah, C. Winkler von Mohrenfels, B. Gabler, V.P. Gabel; Recovery of Corneal Innervation After LASEK . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2003;44(13):2658.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Purpose: Corneal nerves are damaged during LASEK surgery. The aim of this study was to evaluate the recovery of corneal sensation and the morphological regeneration of corenal subepithelial nerves after LASEK. Methods: Corneal innervation was evaluated in 140 eyes of 77 patients who had undergone LASEK surgery at various timepoints for up to 490 days before testing. In those patients corneal sensitivity was measured using the Cochet Bonnet esthesiometer (Handaya Co., Japan). In a second group of 15 patients corneal sensitivity was tested preoperatively and 3 days, 2 weeks, 4 weeks and 3 month after LASEK surgery. The morphology of subepithelial nerves was assessed with a confocal microscope (Nidek technologies, Germany) preoperatively and at every visit. Results: Corneal sensitivity decreased after surgery and recoverd to average preoperative values within 3 to 5 weeks after LASEK. Confocal microscopy revealed that subepithelial nerve fibres were absent in the center of the corneas for at least 27 days following LASEK surgery. Conclusion: This study indicates that nerve injury caused by LASEK reduces corneal sensitivity for 1 month after LASEK. This time period is much shorter than after LASIK.
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