Potential benefits of modified corneal tissue grafts for keratoconus: Bowman layer ‘inlay’ and ‘onlay’ transplantation, and allogenic tissue ring segments

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Purpose of reviewKeratoconus can be surgically challenging, especially in advanced cases. Classic corneal transplantation techniques, may often be associated with complications. New alternative procedures like isolated Bowman layer transplantation (as a corneal stromal inlay or as a corneal onlay) and corneal allogenic intrastromal ring segments (CAIRS) have recently shown promising results. The aim of this review is to describe the main new surgical developments for treating keratoconus.Recent findingsIntrastromal Bowman layer transplantation has recently shown to be effective in halting keratoconus progression and maintaining visual acuity with contact lenses, at least up to 5–7 years postoperatively. Because intrastromal dissection can be challenging, we have recently developed a technique that allows using Bowman layer grafts as an onlay, that is positioned onto the patient's anatomical Bowman layer or anterior stroma, achieving comparable results as with Bowman layer inlay transplantation. CAIRS may also be an effective treatment, improving visual acuity, corneal surface parameters and keratoconus progression.SummaryThere are currently some new alternative treatments such as isolated Bowman layer inlay or onlay transplantation and CAIRS, both of which seem effective at treating keratoconus and which may offer a less invasive surgical approach.

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