About Superficial Keratectomy
Superficial keratectomy (SK), often referred to as the Super K procedure, is done to smooth or remove the outermost (anterior) layer of the cornea, the epithelium. Smoothing or removal of the epithelium might become necessary for patients who have certain eye diseases, such as anterior corneal dystrophy, band keratopathy, or Salzmann's nodular degeneration, that cause calcium buildup, scar tissue, and other types of corneal opacities that can impair or block vision. It can also be beneficial for patients who have corneal scarring from an injury or previous eye surgery. Beyond the vision impairment, these problems can also cause chronic eye dryness, a sensation of grittiness, and even pain. A superficial keratectomy is able to smooth away the damaged epithelial tissue, which regenerates on its own over a period of days with healthier, clearer cells.
At Solomon Eye Physicians and Surgeons, we have some of the most experienced and skilled cornea surgeons in Maryland. We perform successful superficial keratectomies on a regular basis for our Greenbelt and Bowie, MD area patients.
"Every staff member had a welcoming smile and treated myself and others with the utmost respect! One of the nicer eye doctors I've been to. Even had some nice art around the lounge!!"- J.W. / Yelp / Nov 20, 2019
"I went to their office in Greenbelt and they treat you with respect and very professional way."- B.T. / Facebook / Oct 31, 2019
"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
The best candidates for superficial keratectomy (SK) are otherwise healthy individuals who suffer from corneal disorders that affect the epithelium. Some of these conditions include:
- Salzmann's nodular degeneration
- Calcific band keratopathy
- Anterior basement membrane dystrophy (ABMD)
- Reis-Buckler's dystrophy
- Superficial corneal scarring
- Recurrent corneal erosion (RCE)
- Complications after LASIK
Some patients who are planning to undergo cataract surgery also consider having SK. For these patients, smoothing any irregularities of the epithelium can help ensure that the refractive measurements of their new artificial lens are perfect.
What to Expect
A superficial keratectomy is performed as an outpatient procedure with local anesthetic. It is a very safe, quick treatment that is typically completed in just a few minutes. Your eyes will be completely numbed prior to beginning the surgery to ensure your maximum comfort. Then, the surgeon will place a special device over your eye to keep you from blinking or moving the eye. Due to the numbing drops, you will only feel a slight sensation of pressure from the device.
The surgeon will then use a combination of techniques to remove the damaged corneal tissue. A very small, fine instrument will be used to manually smooth the surface of the epithelium, and a device called a diamond burr might be used to gently polish out any deeper damage. When the procedure is complete, a bandage contact lens will be placed in the eye to protect it while it heals.
Before your procedure, we will give you prescriptions for an antibiotic, steroid, and lubrication eye drops. You'll need to have these filled before your procedure takes place so that you can begin using them immediately afterward.
After your procedure is completed, you will be given very important aftercare instructions, including when and how to use the drops and tips for how to avoid touching your eyes. You will be required to come back to Solomon Eye Physicians and Surgeons the day following your procedure so we can monitor your progress, and we may ask you to come back for one or more further follow-ups. When aftercare instructions are followed properly, most patients recover and have clear vision in about two weeks.
Plan Your Procedure
You can clear your corneas
The board-certified ophthalmologists and expert surgeons at Solomon Eye Physicians and Surgeons have successfully treated hundreds of Maryland men and women with anterior corneal disease or damage. A superficial keratectomy is a quick, safe, and relatively pain-free procedure that can reduce or eliminate the symptoms of your corneal condition. Contact us at our Greenbelt or Bowie, MD office soon to find out if the SK procedure could be the solution you need.