Purpose: The authors reviewed their experience with total conjunctival flaps (TCF) and partial conjunctival flaps (PCF) for the past 5 years in 61 patients.
Methods: Forty-eight patients had TCF and 13 had PCF. Diagnoses for surgery included severe bullous keratopathy for chronic graft failure (not candidates for keratoplasty) (19), herpes zoster ophthalmicus (7), chronic ulcerative keratitis (14), neurotrophic keratitis (2), and herpes simplex keratitis (9).
Results: There were seven complications. Four flap retractions occurred in the TCF group, requiring resuturing in two. Three complications occurred in the PCF group. One patient had two flap retractions and recurrent ulceration, requiring tarsorrhaphy. One patient with PCF suffered a perforation after flap retraction, necessitating penetrating keratoplasty.
Conclusion: The authors believe conjunctival flaps are underused and should be considered seriously for bullous keratopathy, neurotrophic keratitis, recalcitrant keratitis, and persistent nonhealing epithelial defects.