Minimally invasive alternative to corneal transplantation shows benefits

19 October 2016

A new study has demonstrated the potential benefits of a minimally invasive alternative to corneal transplantation for people with the degenerative eye disease keratoconus.

The research from the Netherlands Institute for Innovative Ocular Surgery has indicated that this technique can be particularly beneficial for younger sufferers of the condition, which causes the cornea to become thin and cone-shaped.

It was theorised that transplanting only the second layer of the cornea - known as the Bowman layer - may be a safe and effective alternative to full corneal transplantation in the long term.

Trialling the method in 22 eyes among 19 people with advanced keratoconus, it was shown that disease progression was halted in 90 per cent of the eyes, while significantly improving patients' vision.

Moreover, the technique also made it possible for individuals with advanced keratoconus to tolerate extended contact lens wear, which is traditionally a challenge for people with the condition.

Dr Jack Parker, lead author of the study and a corneal fellow at the Netherlands Institute for Innovative Ocular Surgery, said: "The procedure can spare young people with the condition a lifetime of difficult, expensive and risky eye procedures and interventions."

Posted by Philip Briggs


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