Purpose To evaluate the efficacy of diode laser welding to close corneal wounds in penetrating keratoplasty (PKP) and cataract surgery in pediatric patients. Setting Ophthalmology Department, Bambino Gesù Children's Hospital, Rome, Italy. Design Prospective observational study. Methods Patients had surgery for congenital cataract (Group 1) or femtosecond laser-assisted PKP (Group 2). The surgery was followed by corneal wound closure using diode laser welding of the stroma. In Group 1, no standard suturing was used. In Group 2, the donor button was sutured onto the recipient using 8 single nylon sutures or a 10-0 nylon running suture (12 passages). Laser welding was then used as an adjunct to the traditional suturing procedure. Results Group 1 comprised 7 eyes (7 patients; mean age 8.1 years ± 5.3 [SD], range 1 to 15 years) and Group 2, 5 eyes (5 patients; mean age 10.6 ± 3.3 years, range 6 to 15 years). The adhesion of the laser-welded tissues was perfect; there were no collateral effects, and restoration of the treated tissues was optimum. Seidel testing showed no wound leakage during the follow-up. Postoperative astigmatism did not change significantly from the first day after cataract surgery and shifted moderately 3 months after PKP. Conclusion Laser welding of corneal tissue appeared to be safe and effective in children for whom a sutureless surgical procedure is important to reduce the use of anesthesia for suture management, prevent endophthalmitis, and improve the antiamblyopic effect. Financial Disclosure No author has a financial or proprietary interest in any material or method mentioned.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sensory Systems