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V. Lekhi, R. Mitchell; Corneal Epithelial Healing Rates Post Microkeratome Assisted Advanced Surface Treatment (Epi-Lasik) Refractive Surgery. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2010;51(13):2852.
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This project has two objectives. First, to develop a novel way to quantitatively measure cornea epithelial healing. This technique will be vital to accurately determine healing in post Advanced Surface Treatment refractive surgery (Epi-lasik without retained epithelium).
Patients undergoing routine AST refractive surgery were followed postoperatively with new digital photography at various time intervals until complete cornea epithelial healing was recorded. All photographs were taken while a normal postoperatively applied bandage contact lens was in place. No fluorescein, anesthetic or stain was used to aid in capturing the images. The raw images were then computer analyzed for Circumference, Area, and Healing rate.
The new imaging modality measures the healing as effective as current practices. From this new technique our current results from a pilot study of 60 eyes show that the mean time for healing is under 55 hrs (post surgery). We have been able to apparently accelerate the epithelial healing rate of the cornea compared to published rates in the literature. In addition, we have observed some unique patterns of healing. A larger study is underway and should to be completed by the end of October. The larger sample size will increase the statistical power of the study, and aid in the epithelial healing rate calculations.
Our regime of eye drops and management post AST appears to result in rapid epithelial healing. Also the new photographic technique allows the corneal epithelial healing process to be measured objectively and without introducing any variables, which may potentially decelerate the healing process. Epithelial healing rates can be used to assess surgical technique variables in order to improve healing after corneal surface refractive surgery.
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