UNM Researchers Announce Corneal Wound Healing Findings after LASIK Surgery

In an article being published this month in the Archives of Ophthalmology, researchers within the UNM School of Medicine report their findings regarding corneal-wound healing after LASIK surgery.

Using eye bank equipment, V. Vinod Mootha, M.D., assistant professor of Ophthalmology, studied post-mortem corneas from patients who have had LASIK surgery. The study found that the cornea heals extremely well after LASIK surgery. However, corneas with previous LASIK are no longer useful for transplantation.

With a slit-lamp microscope (a binocular microscope), only half of the corneas that have had previous LASIK surgery could be screened by the identification of a flap-edge created at the time of LASIK surgery.

Using another microscope found at eye banks, the specular microscope, the study found highly-reflective microscopic particles deeper in the corneal tissue. These particles require further study, but may form an effective basis for screening LASIK donor corneas.

"In general, corneal recovery is so successful after LASIK surgery that it can be extremely difficult to detect the previous surgery. And, as the surgery becomes more common, it will impact the supply of donor corneas," said Mootha. "We need donated corneas for research¬óbut we do need to know whether or not people have had the surgery, which is why we are recommending that they inform their relatives if they had the procedure and want to be organ donors."

Dr. Mootha, Director of Cornea and Refractive Surgery at UNM, serves as the Medical Director of the New Mexico Lions Eye Bank, which is assisting the Kestrel Corporation (Albuquerque, NM) in developing an instrument that utilizes wavefront technology to screen for LASIK donor-corneas.

Contact: Cindy Foster, 272-3322

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