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Epithelial Debridement/Superficial Keratectomy (7659)

Epithelial Debridement/Superficial Keratectomy (7659) - Clinical Hub, Patient Education, Health and Nutrition Facts For You, Ophthalmology


Epithelial Debridement/Superficial Keratectomy

Your doctor has decided that you should have epithelial debridement/superficial
keratectomy to improve your vision and comfort.

Epithelial Debridement/Superficial Keratectomy
Epithelial debridement is surgical removal of the corneal epithelium or surface
layer of cells.
Superficial keratectomy is surgical removal of corneal epithelium plus sub-
epithelial fibrous, fibrovascular, or dystrophic tissue in the front corneal layers.

When to use Epithelial Debridement/Superficial Keratectomy
Removal of dystrophic, degenerative, hypertrophic or scarred corneal tissue:
ξ Visually significant anterior basement membrane dystrophy (Map-dot-
fingerprint dystrophy)
ξ Recurrent corneal erosion
ξ Salzmann’s nodular degeneration
ξ Removal of calcific band keratopathy (in combination with a calcium
chelating agent)
ξ Superficial corneal scar
ξ Removal of infectious material
ξ Reis-Buckler’s dystrophy
ξ Treatment of epithelial ingrowth after LASIK surgery

The Procedure
The procedure may be done at the slit lamp or using an operating microscope. An
eye drop anesthetic is applied to the ocular surface to numb the eye. The epithelial
debridement and removal of other abnormal tissue uses a blunt surfaced
instrument. The cornea is sometimes polished with a diamond burr. A bandage
soft contact lens is placed on the corneal surface to help it heal. There will be
moderate to severe pain until the epithelial defect heals. This procedure may need
to be repeated in the future.

ξ Topical antibiotic drops will be needed after the procedure
ξ In some cases a topical corticosteroid drop will also be prescribed.
ξ A prescription for mild narcotic may be given.
ξ Depending on the size of the epithelial defect, it will take 2-7 days for the
corneal abrasion to heal.
ξ In most cases, you should not drive in the first 5 days after the procedure
or if you are taking narcotic pain medicines. Do not drive at any time if
the eye is tearing or light sensitive.
ξ Follow-up is needed to check that healing of the cornea is complete and
to take out the bandage contact lens.
ξ Lubrication therapy with artificial tears, hypertonic solutions, or
ointments should be started once the bandage contact lens is removed.
ξ It will take 12 weeks for the vision to become stable and, if necessary, for
a new glasses prescription to be prescribed.

Your health care team may have given you this information as part of your care. If so, please use it and call if you
have any questions. If this information was not given to you as part of your care, please check with your doctor. This
is not medical advice. This is not to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Because each
person’s health needs are different, you should talk with your doctor or others on your health care team when using
this information. If you have an emergency, please call 911. Copyright © 1/2016 University of Wisconsin Hospitals
and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#7659