Amniontic Membrane Transplantation

This procedure is used to treat some of the most common Ocular Surface Diseases, including recurrent corneal erosion, nodular, and other corneal degenerations.

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 with the aid of a "biological blanket," amniotic membrane.  The membrane dissolves over several days (as the surface underneath heals) under a overnight wear contact lens.

The Procedure – In Detail

A complete preoperative evaluation is required prior to performing a superficial keratectomy, and every attempt to confirm ocular surface health 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. The amniotic membrane is placed with forceps, positioned, and allowed to dry without sutures or glue.  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.