RK in 1980s, 3 Lasiks Beginning in 2001, Infectious Crystal Keratopathy

When this patient came to see me several weeks ago, I felt that the white deposits in the center of her cornea beneath the LASIK flap were from epithelial ingrowth since this eye suffered several episodes of this condition over the past few years. I referred this patient to the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute here in Miami for another opinion. Well, my diagnosis was incorrect. The condition that this eye is suffering from is “infectious crystal keratopathy”, an extremely rare complication of refractive eye surgery. This eye underwent a number of separate Radial Keratotomy procedures in the 1980’s followed by 3 separate LASIK procedures beginning in 2001. In this condition, crystals are deposited in the anterior portion of the cornea between the LASIK flap and the corneal surface. The infection related crystal deposits have a fine branchlike shape that develop over time and may be associated with inflammation. Fortified antibiotics were prescribed for this patient to use 4 times daily for the next few weeks at which time she will be seen again by the corneal specialists at Bascom Palmer. During my many years in practice I have seen thousands of patients suffering ocular trauma due to refractive eye surgeries including LASIK. This is the first time that I have ever seen an eye with “infectious crystal keratopathy”.

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