Author(s): Tan DT, Anshu A, Mehta JS
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Abstract Conventional corneal transplantation, in the form of penetrating keratoplasty (PK), involves full-thickness replacement of the cornea, and is a highly successful procedure. However, the cornea is anatomically a multi-layered structure. Pathology may only affect individual layers of the cornea, hence selective lamellar surgical replacement of only the diseased corneal layers whilst retaining unaffected layers represents a new paradigm shift in the field. Recent advancements in surgical techniques and instrumentation have resulted in several forms of manual, microkeratome and femto-second laser-assisted lamellar transplantation procedures. Anterior lamellar keratoplasty (ALK) aims at replacing only diseased or scarred corneal stroma, whilst retaining the unaffected corneal endothelial layer, thus obviating the risk of endothelial allograft rejection. Posterior lamellar keratoplasty/endothelial keratoplasty (PLK/EK) involves the replacement of the dysfunctional endothelial cell layer only. Whilst significant technical and surgical challenges are involved in performing lamellar micro-dissection of a tissue which is only 0.5 mm thick, the benefits of a more controlled surgical procedure and improved graft survival rates have resulted in a shift away from conventional PK. This review details the current advances in emerging lamellar corneal surgical procedures and highlights the main advantages and disadvantages of these new lamellar corneal procedures.
This article was published in Ann Acad Med Singapore
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Experimental Ophthalmology