Staphylococcal Infection Under a LASIK Flap

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To report a staphylococcal infection under a laser in situ keratomileusis (LASIK) flap and to discuss the management of this rare and potentially devastating complication.


A patient was referred to our practice having had bilateral LASIK. She was found to have abscesses under the left corneal flap. Staphylococcus aureus was identified as the infecting organism by corneal scrape and treated with appropriate antibiotics. The cornea improved, and then the abscess recurred. The abscess was again scraped and intensive treatment reinstituted.


After successful treatment, the patient recovered excellent visual acuity with only a minimal astigmatic error.


The possible reasons for the apparent improvement and then recurrence of the abscess are discussed. The management of this case including the need for corneal scrape and antibiotic prophylaxis is discussed in relation to previously reported cases.

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