Purpose: In this prospective study, argon laser photocoagulation was used to eliminate misdirected cilia. The cases were followed up to see the results and recurrences with this treatment.
Methods: 60 eyelids of 45 patients with trichiasis were treated with the argon laser. After topical anesthesia a blue-green argon laser was used with 1 watt power, for 0.20 seconds, with 100 micrometer beam diameter. The beam was directed coaxially to the lash follicle to create a 2-3 mm crater and vaporization was observed. After crater formation, the laser parameters were changed to 1.2 watt power, for 0.20 seconds, with 200 micrometer beam diameter, to destroy residual follicular tissue. Up to five lashes were treated in one session. At the end of each session an antibiotic ointment was used t.i.d. for a week.
Results: Patients have been followed for 4-12 months (mean 6 months). Recurrences have been seen in 15 of 60 eyelids (25%). Laser treatment has been used with the same protocol for the cases with recurrence and results have been successful in eight of them. Postoperatively severe pain, hemorrhage, scar formation, neovascularization of lid margin, or infection were not seen in any patient. In three cases mild hypopigmentation and in three other cases mild lid notching were observed.
Conclusions: Argon laser lash ablation can be done as an effective office procedure with topical anesthesia. The advantages include low recurrence and complication rates in carefully selected patients and minimal postoperative discomfort.