Bandage contact lenses cause increase in incidence of epithelial ingrowth

A study comparing three LASIK re-treatment techniques found that using a bandage contact lens resulted in an increased incidence of epithelial ingrowth, according to Colin Chan, MBBS, of the Boxer Wachler Vision Institute, Los Angeles.

A study comparing three LASIK re-treatment techniques found that using a bandage contact lens resulted in an increased incidence of epithelial ingrowth, according to Colin Chan, MBBS, of the Boxer Wachler Vision Institute, Los Angeles.

He pointed out that epithelial ingrowth is a common complication, with reported rates ranging from 0% to 55%. However, the cause of the complication is unknown. He speculated that perhaps direct trauma or peripheral laser pulses might be the culprit.

Dr. Chan and colleagues studied 30 consecutive eyes divided into three groups of 10 eyes each: the forceps lift group, the bandage contact lens group, and the spatula-cleaving group. All patients underwent conventional re-treatment with LADARVision (Alcon Laboratories).

In the bandage contact lens group, there was a surge of epithelial ingrowth, with four of the 10 patients developing the complication. In comparison, one of 10 patients in the spatula group, and two of 10 patients in the forceps lift group developed epithelial ingrowth, Dr. Chan reported.

When the investigators studied the patients based on age, they found that there was a correlation with increasing age and the development of epithelial ingrowth. Patients aged 53 years and older developed epithelial ingrowth, while younger patients did not.

"Further study is needed to delineate these findings," Dr. Chan said. "The application of a bandage contact lens did not prevent the development of epithelial ingrowth, which is counter to common belief."