About Amniotic Membrane Grafts
Amniotic membrane tissue (also called amnion) has been in use for medical purposes for nearly 70 years. However, relatively recent technological advancements and techniques have allowed it to become a very safe, effective, and popular part of ocular surgery and other ocular treatments.
The amniotic membrane is part of the placenta. For surgical purposes, this tissue is collected from consenting women who have given birth via Cesarean section. The bottom or "basement" layer of the amniotic membrane is structurally quite similar to the conjunctiva, which is the membrane that coats and protects the outside of the eye. This means the amnion is able to mimic the eye's conjunctiva and aid in healing after certain ocular surgeries and even to act as grafts to repair corneal or conjunctival damage.
At Solomon Eye Physicians and Surgeons, we are proud to use both amniotic corneal bandages and amniotic ocular transplantation grafts as part of certain treatments for the surface of the eye. These techniques are FDA approved and help reduce inflammation, promote healing, lessen pain, and provide better aesthetic outcomes after treatment.
Amniotic Corneal bandages
After certain corneal procedures or types of injury, the amniotic membrane can be used as a sort of healing bandage to protect the cornea and promote healing. It is also often used to treat keratitis, dry eye syndrome, corneal ulcers, recurrent corneal erosion (RCE), and other issues on the surface of the eye. Most patients report that wearing an amniotic bandage is a bit less comfortable than a contact lens but does not cause any pain. Typically, an amniotic bandage is worn for about a week.
Amniotic corneal Grafts
The amniotic membrane can also be used as a graft, or transplant, to repair or replace damaged tissue on the surface of the eye. Depending on the purpose of the amniotic tissue grafting, it may be sutured into place where it will stay permanently, or it may be used as an onlay or patch. When used as a patch, a large section of amnion is placed over the treatment area where it stays for 1 – 2 weeks to protect the eye's surface and promote regenerative healing. This remarkable procedure can be used to reconstruct the cornea and the conjunctiva for patients after pterygium removal, conjunctival or corneal lesion removal, conjunctival or corneal ulcer treatment, or who have scleral thinning, acute chemical burns, and many other conditions. Most patients are fully healed within three weeks.
After any ocular surgery or treatment that includes amniotic membrane bandaging or grafting, Solomon Eye Physicians and Surgeons requires that patients return to our Greenbelt or Bowie office for one or more follow-up visits. It is important that we are able to monitor your healing progress after your treatment, as well as ensure that your graft does not show any signs of rejection. For patients who are treated with an amniotic bandage, we will need to see you to remove the bandage and/or check that healing has taken place as expected once the bandage is off. Depending on your particular treatment, we will also prescribe certain medicated eye drops to use in the following weeks, such as antibiotics, corticosteroids, and lubricants.
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"ICL surgery went extremely well. I initially went to Lasik but my eyes were too weak (-12.5 eye presecription with astigmatism), a little older than some at 49 and my corneas too thin. They recommended me to Dr. Solomon, and I am very grateful that they did. From my initial exam to post surgery Dr. Solomon and his staff have been exceptional. I had some eye prescription stability issues with the initial visit, so I had to where my glasses for a week, once my prescription stabilized, I had the surgery and then had issues with eye pressure. After a few eye visits and some additional eye drops I could not be more pleased with the results being able to see everything so clearly without any contacts or reading glasses."- R.T. / Google / Oct 26, 2019
"ICL surgery went extremely well. I did have some eye pressure issues after surgery but the office gave me medicine to relieve the pressure and follow up appointments all free of charge. I couldn't be more pleased with the results. My eye prescription was -12.5 with astigmatism, now I see 20/20 without any type of lenses. Not bad for a 49 year old. I highly recommend Dr Solomon and his staff for your eye care."- R.T. / Google / Sep 29, 2019
"Would recommend to everyone. My wife and I have been patients of Steve Solomon and then Johnathan Solomon for years. We both have had cataract surgery which has been wonderful and life changing. Office staff super helpful. Jasmine G is a real asset. If we could give them ten stars we would!!!"- J.D. / Google / May 14, 2019
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Safer, Smoother healing
At Solomon Eye Physicians and Surgeons, we take great pride in staying abreast of the most innovative and effective treatments for a full range of eye disorders. Our board-certified ophthalmologists and surgeons are extensively trained in the use of amniotic membrane treatments to ensure that our patients receive the best possible care and outcomes. If you are in need of a corneal or ocular surface surgery or treatment, contact us today to find out how we can help.