Bandage contact lenses (BCL) may help reduce pain and result in a less intense wound healing response following femtosecond laser in situ keratomileusis (FS-LASIK), according to a study in the Journal of Ophthalmology.

This prospective, randomized trial included 41 patients (82 eyes) with myopia and/or myopic astigmatism. After FS-LASIK surgery, patients were fitted with a BCL in one eye but not in the contralateral eye. The BCL was left in place overnight and removed the next morning. All eyes subsequently received standardized postoperative treatments. Investigators followed patients for six months and evaluated the subjects’ self-reported postoperative symptom scores for pain, photophobia, tearing and foreign-body sensation. At six months after surgery, researchers examined the corneal flap margin and adjacent regions and photographed them using slit-lamp biomicroscopy to subjectively evaluate the wound healing response.

The study reported postoperative pain and photophobia were milder in the BCL group compared to the control group, but patients felt more foreign-body sensation in the eye with a BCL than in the control eye. Researchers also reported no significant difference in tearing score between BCL eyes and control eyes. Control eyes showed a wide, bright peripheral circumferential band with a spiculated edge and high reflectivity in regards to the fibrotic healing response of the flap margin, while BCL eyes showed a markedly narrower and smoother peripheral circumferential band with a less spiculated edge and lower reflectivity.

“Patients felt less discomfort in eyes treated with a BCL after FS-LASIK than in control eyes. BCL-treated eyes also had a less intense wound healing response at the flap margins than control eyes in some of patients,” researchers said.

BCLs may merit consideration as a treatment option after FS-LASIK for special patients, they added. 

Zhao LQ, Li LM, Liu J, et al. Bandage contact lens application reduces fibrotic wound healing of flap margins after FS-LASIK: a prospective randomized clinical trial. J Ophthalmol. January 20, 2019. [Epub ahead of print].