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Long-term epithelial ingrowth

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Session Details

Session Title: Presented Poster Session: Refractive Surgery Complications

Session Date/Time: Monday 07/09/2015 | 09:30-11:00

Paper Time: 10:30

Venue: Poster Village: Pod 3

First Author: : M.Cigales SPAIN

Co Author(s): :    J. Hoyos-Chacon   J. Hoyos           

Abstract Details


We present a case of epithelial ingrowth over a period of more than 10 years inducing astigmatism, loss of vision and symptoms due to a tear film alteration. We treated this case by lifting the flap and eliminating the ectopic epithelium.


Instituto Oftalmologico Hoyos. Barcelona (Spain)


Myopic female patient with history of LASIK in 1996 and retreatment in 1997. In 2001 she came for the first time to our clinic with epithelial ingrowth but refused treatment. She returned 10 years later complaining of a loss of vision and symptoms for over a year. Epithelial ingrowth was thicker causing irregular astigmatism. We treated this by lifting the flap and cleaning. To avoid a recurrence we scraped the epithelium on the bed until the limbus and in this way the re-epithelialization occurs from both the flap border and the limbus, coinciding halfway and far from the flap border.


One month later UCVA was 20/20 and topography was regular. When we compare the topography before and after epithelial cleaning, we found a corneal flattening (K ± 34 D) in the area with epithelial ingrowth, inducing irregular astigmatism. The normal curvature was recuperated after treatment (K ± 39 D). Today, 3 years later, there has been no recurrence.


When epithelial ingrowth is extensive or progresses causing irregular astigmatism, loss of visual acuity or symptoms, it needs to be eliminated. The technique of scraping the epithelium until the limbus has proven to be efficient to avoid recurrences even in long term epithelialization.

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