Microsurgical approach to the conjunctival flap

Arch Ophthalmol. 2003 Aug;121(8):1189-93. doi: 10.1001/archopht.121.8.1189.


Objectives: To describe a microsurgical approach to a selective pedunculated conjunctival flap for the treatment of chronic corneal ulceration with or without corneal perforation, and to present the results of 50 consecutive cases.

Design: Retrospective, noncomparative case series and case reports. Patients All patients who had microsurgical conjunctival flap procedures for the treatment of chronic corneal ulcers between 1982 and 1996 at the Connecticut Eyecare Center, New Haven.

Interventions: Partial pedunculated conjunctival flap surgery.

Methods: Review of the initial ocular diagnoses and characteristics as well as retrospective study of the postoperative course.

Main outcome measures: Resolution of the corneal ulcer and postoperative stability of the conjunctival flap.

Results: Sixty-two percent of the corneal ulcers treated were nonperforated, and 38% were perforated. The diagnoses included herpes simplex virus (14 patients), bacterial ulcer (11 patients), rheumatoid arthritis (8 patients), aphakic bullous keratopathy (6 patients), graft rejection (4 patients), herpes zoster virus (5 patients), and other (2 patients). Postoperatively, 94% of the conjunctival flaps were stable, and 3% had failed. The procedures were definitive in 64% of cases and temporary in 36%; 61% of patients received a corneal transplant 6 to 24 months postoperatively, and in 38% the flaps were removed 6 to 12 months after the original lesion had healed.

Conclusion: A selective pedunculated conjunctival flap is an effective and practical surgical approach to the treatment of perforated and nonperforated corneal ulcers that have not responded to other types of medical therapy.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Chronic Disease
  • Conjunctiva / surgery*
  • Corneal Ulcer / surgery*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Microsurgery / methods*
  • Middle Aged
  • Ophthalmologic Surgical Procedures*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Surgical Flaps*
  • Visual Acuity