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Effect of occlusive pressure patching on the rate of epithelial wound healing after photorefractive keratectomy

Journal of Cataract & Refractive Surgery
DOI: 10.1016/s0886-3350(96)80271-9


Abstract Purpose: This study measured the effect of pressure patching on the rate of epithelial wound healing in 41 myopic patients after photorefractive keratectomy (PRK). Methods: On day 0, mechanical debridement was done to remove the central 6.5 mm diameter of epithelium. Subsequently, a 5.0 mm diameter photcablation was performed, the depth of ablation being proportional to the degree of myopia (-1.0 to -6.0 diopters) The patients were discharged with an application of antibiotic/steroid ointment (A/S) followed by pressure patching. On day 1, the epithelial defects were stained with fluorescein and photographed. The patients were then randomized prospectively into two groups: Group 1 was pressure patched after application of A/S ointment; Group 2 received A/S ointment twice a day without patching. A photograph of the remaining epithelial defect was taken on day 2. The area of the epithelial defect was measured with a computerized image analyzer. Wound diameter (radius) was used to calculate the epithelial healing rate (EHR). Results: Between days 1 and 2, the mean EHR in Group 1 was 0.072 ± 0.005 mm/hr and in Group 2, 0.056 ± 0.004 mm/hr (P < .05). There was no correlation between the EHR and patient gender or the degree of myopia. However, a correlation was noted between patient age and wound size on day 1. Conclusion: Pressure patching significantly accelerated the EHR following PRK.

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