Sarnicola Air–Visco Bubble Technique in Deep Anterior Lamellar Keratoplasty

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Abstract

Purpose:

The purpose of this study was to describe a new modification for big-bubble deep anterior lamellar keratoplasty (DALK) using pneumatic pressure to detach Descemet membrane (DM) via air injection followed by ophthalmic viscoelastic device (OVD) injection.

Methods:

After failure of big-bubble formation after air injection, OVD was injected from a different site other than the previous air injection using a 27-gauge cannula to detach DM, called air–visco bubble (AVB) DALK technique. The technique was used in 7 human corneoscleral rims that were investigated with anterior segment optical coherence tomography and histopathology and in 69 eyes that underwent DALK surgeries.

Results:

Big-bubble formation was noted in 4 of 7 of the donor corneoscleral rims. The anterior segment optical coherence tomography showed big-bubble formations together with intrastromal OVD accumulation. The histology of the donor corneas showed microdetachments at the DM in the periphery, deep intrastromal separation, and big-bubble formation filled with OVD. One hundred forty-one of 210 eyes (67%) underwent successful DALK with only air injection, and 69 of 210 eyes (33%) underwent AVB technique when a big bubble was not achieved with only air injection. All the corneas showed a clear interface with good wound healing when DM was bared with the AVB DALK technique.

Conclusions:

Additional OVD injection to detach DM may be useful in cases where air injection fails. Also, creating small DM detachments with air injection may facilitate the formation of a big bubble with further OVD injection.

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