Superficial Keratectomy

This procedure is used to treat some of the most common Ocular Surface Diseases,  including recurrent corneal erosion and epithelial basement membrane dystrophy.

It is an in-office procedure that removes defective surface cells from the cornea so that healthy replacement cells can heal in naturally from the periphery of the cornea.

Dr. Harvey performing Superficial Keratectomy

The Procedure – In Detail

A complete preoperative evaluation is required prior to performing a superficial keratectomy, and every attempt to confirm retinal and optic nerve function is made prior to the procedure.

The majority of adult patients have surgery using numbing drops. General anesthesia is often required for children, anxious, or complex patients. After the numbing drops are given, an eyelid holder is used to keep the eyelids open. The abnormal tissue is removed with a blunt instrument, similar to a tiny spatula. Finally, a contact lens is placed on the eye to act as a bandage.

Patients are usually able to return to normal activities on the second day following surgery. However, mild scratchy, or light sensitive irritation is common in the short-term following surgery. Anti-inflamtory drops are used for several days following surgery to promote normal healing and good vision.

The doctor removes the temporary bandage contact within one week of surgery. Vision improves within 2 weeks and is usually stable within 2 months after surgery.

Patients are advised to arrange for someone to drive them to and from surgery.