Background: Excimer laser phototherapeutic keratectomy has generated considerable interest in treating superficial corneal and scleral pathology. The excimer laser is also used to treat recurrent corneal epithelial erosions.
Methods: With the MEL 50 Aesculap-Meditec 193-nanometer argon-fluoride excimer laser, we treated 74 eyes of 73 individuals, who suffered from posttraumatic, therapy-resistant, recurrent corneal epithelial erosions. We used the excimer laser in spot-mode under manual guidance. Only in those eyes where the erosion was covered with loose bullous epithelium did we remove the epithelium mechanically prior to surgery. The postoperative follow-up period ranged from 6 months to 4 years.
Results: Of the 74 eyes, 55 (74.43%) eyes were recurrence-free. One eye developed superficial haze in the treated area. No other complications occurred.
Conclusion: Phototherapeutic keratectomy in recurrent epithelial erosions is a promising treatment, especially in recalcitrant cases with the erosion over the entrance pupil. Photoablation allows a fast reepithelialization of the affected area and quick relief for painful symptoms.