Secondary microkeratome-induced flap interference with the pathway of the primary flap

Navin H. Tekwani, Maria Regina Chalita, Ronald R. Krueger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Purpose: To report a flap-related complication that occurs when a secondary microkeratome pass interferes with the pathway of a complicated first microkeratome pass. Design: Small, retrospective, noncomparative, interventional case series. Participants: Three patients. Methods: In three cases, each patient experienced a different flap-related complication with the original surgery, followed by interference of a secondary flap with the primary. The first patient experienced a free cap, followed by an interference of the secondary flap at the nasal portion of the free cap. The second patient experienced a buttonhole, followed by secondary flap interference in the superior quadrant adjacent to the buttonhole. The third patient experienced a decentered flap originally, followed by secondary flap interference temporally. Main Outcome Measures: Visual result after secondary microkeratome-induced flap-related complications. Results: All three patients had poor best spectacle-corrected visual acuity on the first postoperative day, with subsequent visual recovery. All three patients had induced flattening on keratometry along the axis where stromal tissue was removed. In addition, two patients required multiple enhancements to achieve desired visual outcomes. Conclusions: Complications related to the primary microkeratome pass add further risk for complications to arise during a second microkeratome pass. A secondary microkeratome pass should be attempted only if the original flap cannot be identified, if it is the result of primary flap complication, or if the desired treatment zone is notably larger than the diameter of the original flap. Intraoperative pachymetry of the residual stromal bed should be performed routinely. It is important to examine the stromal bed closely for loose or displaced slivers of tissue and to remove them before excimer treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1379-1383
Number of pages5
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2003
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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