About Superficial Keratectomy
The cornea has the strongest focusing power of the eye, which means it's essentially the window of the eye. It has several layers of tissue, starting with the outer most layer, epithelial, which is followed by the Bowman's layer. This second layer acts as the "glue" to the top layer. Since the cornea plays a crucial role in our sharpness of vision, it must remain clear at all times. Unfortunately, there are certain medical conditions that can cause damage or scarring to the cornea, which can impair vision. A superficial keratectomy (SK) is a procedure that removes the very top layer of the cornea down to the Bowman's layer to correct blurred vision and irregular astigmatism that is caused by damaged epithelial tissue. Our San Antonio, TX ophthalmologists, Dr. Allison Young, Dr. Kristin Held, and Dr. Teresa Whitney, are some of the best cornea surgeons in the area and have performed SK many times with great success.
"Dr Young is the best! Will never go anywhere else."- J.W. / Google / Aug 25, 2019
"Hands down the best decision you can make for your over all eye health and your vision. Dr. Young and her staff made me feel validated and appreciated. As a patient that’s all you can hope for and more. With Dr. Young’s guidance, choosing the cataract removal with the symfony lens implant has forever changed my view on life.... (see what I did there). :)"- A.K. / Google / Aug 06, 2019
"I highly recommend Dr. Held. Her conscientious and careful approach to her patients is followed by excellent skills and follow up. I highly respect Dr. Held I all respects and stress that she is an amazing woman."- Anonymous / Healthgrades / Apr 26, 2019
"Dr. Young and Staff are fantastic. I recently underwent bilateral LASIK without complication and with the utmost care. I felt completely at ease with Dr. Young. She has the combination of skill and stellar bedside manner, I could not ask for more!!"- J... / Google / Apr 16, 2019
"Dr. Young and Staff are fantastic. I recently underwent bilateral LASIK without complication and with the utmost care. I felt completely at ease with Dr. Young. She has the combination of skill and stellar bedside manner, I could not ask for more!!"- J. / Google / Mar 27, 2019
Ideal candidates for superficial keratectomy (SK) are those who have inflammation or scarring of their cornea, which has resulted in impaired or blurred vision. Generally, damage to the epithelial layer is caused by certain eye or medical distorters, including:
- Superficial corneal scarring
- Recurrent corneal erosion (RCE)
- Removal of infectious material
- Anterior basement membrane dystrophy (ABMD)
- Salzmann's nodular degeneration
- Removal of calcific band keratopathy
- Reis-Buckler's dystrophy
- Complications after LASIK
- Preparing for cataract surgery
What to Expect
A superficial keratectomy is a minor surgical procedure that is performed with local anesthesia and generally takes just a few minutes to perform. Once your eyes are numbed, our surgical team will place a device over your eye to prevent any movement during surgery. From there, we will use a specialized tool to gently scrape off the damaged epithelial tissue. Once all the debris is removed and the eye's surface has been smoothed, medicated eye drops will be applied and then a bandage contact lens will be placed on the eye. This lens will protect the eye as it heals.
Prior to surgery, we will give you a prescription for antibiotics and medicated eye drops, which will need to be filled before your surgery as you will need to start using them immediately afterward. Once your surgery is complete, we will provide you with detailed aftercare instructions to follow to help in your healing process. Follow-up appointments will also be scheduled accordingly so we can closely monitor your progress. On average, most patients will experience clearer vision in about two weeks.
If you have been diagnosed with a medical condition that has severely affected your vision, we encourage you to schedule an appointment at Stone Oak Ophthalmology Center in San Antonio, TX today. Our caring professionals can perform a comprehensive eye exam to evaluate your eye health and determine if superficial keratectomy is needed. If you have had LASIK surgery and are experiencing cloudy vision, a different procedure called a photorefractive keratectomy may be better suited for you. Reach out to our office so we can help find the right solution for you.