Acute scleral thinning after pterygium excision with intraoperative mitomycin C: a case report of scleral dellen after bare sclera technique and review of the literature.

Department of Ophthalmology, China Medical College Hospital, Taichung, Taiwan.
Cornea (Impact Factor: 2.36). 04/2002; 21(2):227-9.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT To describe a patient with scleral dellen after pterygium excision with intraoperative mitomycin C.
Case report and MEDLINE review of the medical literature on scleral dellen after bare sclera technique.
A 48-year-old man had a left nasal pterygium excised by the bare sclera technique with intraoperative mitomycin C. Eight days after surgery, the patient noticed a small black spot in the bare sclera area with mild irritation. Slit-lamp examination revealed a focal area of extreme thinning, centered on the nonepithelialized bare sclera, surrounded by edematous conjunctiva. The ciliary body was visible through the thin and dry scleral lesion. After topical lubricant therapy, the scleral lesion appeared normal thickness and white in color 3 days later. Therapy was continued until the sclera epithelialized.
Scleral dellen is an early postoperative complication of bare sclera technique owing to delayed conjunctival wound closure. Hydration of the thinned sclera will rapidly thicken it. However, medical therapy should be continued until the surrounding conjunctiva has flattened and the sclera has epithelialized. Surgical wound closure is an alternative management and may be the way to prevent scleral dellen formation after bare sclera technique. All patients after bare sclera surgery should be followed up until the conjunctival wound has healed. If delayed healing is found, frequent artificial tears, patching, or surgical intervention is necessary.

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    ABSTRACT: We describe a patient with corneal and scleral dellen, which occurred after an uneventful pterygium excision without adjunctive therapy and a subsequent febrile episode. A 43-year-old woman presented with a history of recurrent irritation in her right eye and a diagnosis of pterygium. The pterygium was excised under local anesthesia with the bare scleral technique and without the use of antimetabolites. No complications occurred until 14 days after surgery when corneal and sclera dellen appeared; this was 2 days after a concomitant febrile episode (39°C). Tobramycin and dexamethasone eye drops given after surgery were withdrawn and topical lubricants and antibiotic ointment, in combination with oral L-amino acids, were administered along with eye patching. One week later, the corneal dellen had completely healed and, 4 weeks later, the thinned sclera appeared regularly thick and white in color. Three months after surgery, a small recurrent pterygium was diagnosed, which remained stable without signs of inflammation for additional 18 months. Corneal and scleral dellen might be a late complication of uneventful pterygium surgery without antimetabolites and a subsequent febrile episode.
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