Lasik over RK with Epithelial Ingrowth

This is a close up photo of a cornea that underwent 2 separate RK (Radial Keratotomy) surgeries in the 1980’s followed by 2 separate LASIK surgeries in 2001 and 2003. Look carefully and you can see the scarred RK incisions radiating onto the cornea from the white portion of the eye. At 9:00 O’Clock you can see a long horizontal blood vessel growing onto the cornea along one of the RK incisions. Know that blood vessels do not belong in or on the cornea. At the end of the blood vessel toward the center of the cornea is a “hatchet like” milky white object. This is known as “epithelial ingrowth”. The cells on the outside surface of the cornea are called epithelial cells. What has happened here is that some of these epithelial cells got underneath the LASIK flap and began to grow. When this happens the usual treatment is lifting the LASIK flap and cleaning out these cells. If this does not work and the cells begin to obscure the vision, corneal transplant surgery may have to be done.

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