The new small-incision lenticule extraction (SMILE) refractive surgery may be able to help more than just its primary patients. Turns out, those with poor results from prior surgeries might be helped too, based on new findings out of China. Researchers from the Eye & ENT Hospital of Fudan University in Shanghai as well as the University of Heidelberg in Germany successfully implanted a post- SMILE allogenic corneal lenticule in a LASIK patient to help treat corneal ectasia.

When a 29-year-old patient 10 years post-LASIK presented with bilateral ectasia, manifest refraction of −1.50 −3.25 × 15° OD and −13.50 −6.00 × 10° OS and contact lens intolerance in the left eye, his clinicians had to think outside the box for treatment. They decided to try implanting a corneal lenticule from a donor eye with a refraction of +5.75 −0.50 × 15°.

Ten months after implanting the SMILE lenticule under the patient’s original LASIK flap in the left eye, vision had improved to −3.25 −1.50 × 10° with a corrected distance visual acuity of 20/40. In addition, the cornea remained clear.

“Implantation of an allogenic lenticule may be an option in the treatment of advanced ectasia,” the researchers conclude.

Li M, Zhao F, Meng Li M, et al. Treatment of corneal ectasia by implantation of an allogenic corneal lenticule. J Refract Surg. 2018;34(5):347-50.