A STITCH JUST IN TIME…

Mark Wakefield‎ shares his recent keratoconus graft story.

Is a full on replacement graft your only option when an aged graft starts to fail? Maybe not.

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I thought I would share my recent experience with you in case anyone else was facing the same issue. If you are then my treatment may be something you should consider.

I have had Keratoconus for about 40 years now, I had an old fashioned full depth graft about 36 years ago which served me well until about three years ago when it became apparent that the old wound junction was parting on the lower section of the graft.

The donor disc was slowly slipping forwards and as a result my astigmatism was getting worse. My consultant advised if I did nothing I would probably lose the graft. He suggested re-stitching the wound and gave the treatment a 60/40 chance of success. If it failed I would be offered a second graft.

I had the graft restitched in November 2016. Because of the deliberately tight stitches my vision changed immediately for the worse, it took three months for the cornea shape to stabilise after which I was prescribed new glasses and could see reasonably well but the ghosting was quite prominent, essentially I could see five strong overlapping images. 

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This is a picture showing the affected area two days after it had been re-stitched.

The 11 stitches remained in for two years before being removed in batches of three or four. I was astonished on the day the last three stitches were removed to see an immediate improvement in vision as the astigmatism immediately improved and the ghosting was much less severe. My consultant is now optimistic that I could retain the graft for years to come. Bearing in mind my age I hope it will see me out.

I just use glasses and it feels like now I have the best vision I have had for years.

The consultant said he is using this procedure on more patients these days instead of resorting immediately to a replacement graft.

Mark,

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