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 and Dr. Jana Waters, are some of the best cornea surgeons in the area and have performed SK many times with great success.
"I am so please that I was recommended to this office as well to Dr. Allison Young. The office and the personal are professional and cheerful. I have Sjögren’s Syndrome which drys everything in your body. I honestly though I was going blind and I was seeing another ophthalmologist in a huge chain operation and it seems like I was going in every three months. I honestly couldn’t see. Dr Young saw me on the first visit and explained that I had a very large cataract in my right eye and it needed to be removed. I was extremely petrified but Dr. Young has the type of additive you want every Doctor to have. It was such an easy operation for me, Dr. Young said that it was so big it took her awhile to get it out. The difference was amazing I see amazing I was so amazed how little I was seeing before. So excited to get the other eye done. The after care was just as through as the pre-op. I recommend this Ophthalmology Center and Dr. Young. Today is January 8th of 2021 and the day before this I had a very gritty feeling in my right eye when I woke up. Just thinking it was my Sjogren's I put in the eye drops and it helped but I had double vision for the day. Knowing I could call Stone Oak Ophthalmology and find out if I need to see a Dr or just find out what I could do. They wanted to get me in but I live a across town and they got me an appointment right away the next day. I saw Dr. Whitney and just like Dr. Young, she took her time took the tests (she explained each test and her reason for taking them) and ended up finding out that I had Shingles in my right eye. I was then told it was a very good thing that I came in because it could be worse the longer you wait. I trust this office and my eye health whole heartily. I have always been treated with respect, professionalism, COVID responsible and I know my appointment was done to it's fullest to help both of us to understand what is happening with my eyes. Again I was afraid my eyesight was going to be gone and I have walked in there and them out knowing everything was being done that could be done. I also got to meet another one of these wonderful Doctors. Thank you Dr. Whitney, I'm not thrilled with having Shingles but thank you for informing me that getting the Shingles Shot is not a 100% it just makes it less infectious. I maybe miserable but it could of been a lot worse with out your insisting we do the testing and your hands on care it could be worse. If you are someone who needs an Ophthalmologist this is the group to go to."- R.P. / Google / Jan 08, 2021
"I love Dr. Young she’s definitely a great professional and friendly! Her concerns for my eye health is a priority. The Office Staff is professional and friendly too. I would highly recommend her."- C.E. / Facebook / Jul 15, 2020
"I am so please that I was recommended to this office as well to Dr. Allison Young. The office and the personal are professional and cheerful. I have Sjögren’s Syndrome which drys everything in your body. I honestly though I was going blind and I was seeing another ophthalmologist in a huge chain operation and it seems like I was going in every three months. I honestly couldn’t see. Dr Young saw me on the first visit and explained that I had a very large cataract in my right eye and it needed to be removed. I was extremely petrified but Dr. Young has the type of additive you want every Doctor to have. It was such an easy operation for me, Dr. Young said that it was so big it took her awhile to get it out. The difference was amazing I see amazing I was so amazed how little I was seeing before. So excited to get the other eye done. The after care was just as through as the pre-op. I recommend this Ophthalmology Center and Dr. Young."- R.M. / Google / Jun 02, 2020
"Dr. Whitney is excellent, caring and very professional. Her staff is professional, helpful and caring. Dr. Whitney’s surgery provided me with a 20/20 vision and I’m very grateful for that. I highly recommend."- R.C. / Google / Nov 27, 2020
"Dr. Teresa Whitney performed cataract surgery on both my left and right eyes in August 2020, and she did an absolutely AWESOME job! Like many, I was terrified of the procedure, and had deferred it for many years, until I was nearly blind - OK, I was legally blind. With GREAT anxiety, I submitted myself to Dr. Whitney's care, and I emerged from the first surgery absolutely amazed at the results. I was back her table a week later for the other eye, FAR less concerned with both the procedure and the outcome. I am now 20:20 in both eyes, no longer need glasses of any kind, and have for the first in over a decade, had the eyeglass restriction removed from my driver's license! I can honestly say, I'm very sorry that I have but only two eyes, or I'd be a repeat patient. Thank you, Dr. Whitney, for restoring my eyesight!!"- M.D. / Google / Sep 14, 2020
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.