Amniotic Membrane Grafts – Greenbelt, MD

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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.

Follow-Up

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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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.

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*Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary from person to person. Images may contain models.