PRK in July and August 2006 - Epithelium problems ever since

Post your questions and start your research in this forum if more than three months ago you had any type of surgery to reduce the need for glasses and contacts.

PRK in July and August 2006 - Epithelium problems ever since

Postby missymayhem » Fri Nov 03, 2006 12:00 am

Before deciding to have PRK surgery earlier this year, my left eye was diagnosed with dry eye and I also had filaments on that eyeball.

I had PRK done on my left eye on July 20th of this year. After the initial contact lens bandage was removed, the epithelium was completely rubbed off somehow within a matter of hours. As a result, the next day a new contact lens bandage was put on my left eye. Since then I make it approximately four to five days with no problems and then the epithelium will rip and I will have a new contact lens bandage put on the eye for four days. This has been ongoing since the surgery.

In August I had a little longer streak of luck with my left eye and I thought it was healing correctly so I was able to get the PRK surgery on my right eye - on August 31st. Unfortunately, a few days later the epithelium on my left eye ripped again and I had to have another contact lens bandage put on the eye.

I haven’t had near as many problems with my right eye as I have with my left eye. I have only had to have two additional contact lens bandages on my right eye, after the initial after-surgery contact lens. So far, my right eye has been okay for a little over three weeks.

At this time, I have a contact lens bandage on my left eye. After a stretch of three and a half weeks (the longest streak ever) with no problems, the epithelium ripped again about 2 weeks ago. I had a contact lens on for four days and later in the evening, on the same day it was removed, the epithelium ripped again. I now have a contact lens on and the doctor is leaving it on for ten days, it will be removed this coming Monday. The doctor is hoping that the cells will heal stronger if the lens is on for longer. I am not very optimistic that this will work so I am looking for some suggestions.

At one of my last visits to the eye doctor, I was told that PTK surgery or some other micro-something (I can’t remember the name) surgery might help in the future. I was also told that if the epithelium rips again on my left eye, after this contact lens is removed, that I’ll have to be referred to a corneal specialist.

Currently, I use Refresh Celluvisc, Restasis, and Erithromycin ointment when I don’t have a contact lens bandage on and Refresh Plus and Systane drops when I do have a contact lens bandage on. I also take Doxycycline and Fish Oil tablets daily.

Since the surgery, my vision has been great! The only problem that I have been having is with the ripping epithelium. Has anyone else had this problem? Can you offer any suggestions?

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Postby LasikExpert » Fri Nov 03, 2006 1:55 am

Your recurrent epithelial problem after PRK is not at all normal and indicates a serious situation that needs to be properly diagnosed and treated/managed. Recurrent epithelial sloughing can indicate Epithelial Basement Membrane Dystrophy (EBMD), severe dry eye, or other malady.

I very highly recommend that you seek a second opinion from a corneal specialist. You may want to ask your current doctor for a referral, however you could approach a specialist directly. I recommend you contact the ophthalmology department of a university affiliated teaching hospital for a recommendation.
Glenn Hagele
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