What is neurotrophic keratopathy?
When patients have corneal anesthesia due to dysfunction of the 5th cranial nerve (called the trigeminal nerve), ulcers and destruction of the cornea can occur. When this happens, the blink reflex is absent and cannot protect the eye. The cascade of changes that the cornea encounters ultimately results in irreversible blindness.
There are a number of known causes. Careful exam and studies may be needed to identify the precise reason.
What is the treatment for neurotrophic keratopathy?
There are different stages of neurotrophic keratopathy from mild to severe. Depending on the stage, treatment will vary. For mild or Stage 1 disease, artificial tears and ointments may suffice to keep the eye moisturized.
In Stage 2, prophylactic antibiotic drops are used in conjunction with preservative-free artificial tears. It may also be necessary to perform a small procedure called a lateral tarsorrhaphy to bring together the outer part of the eyelids. This will help keep moisture over the eye. In some cases, a small piece of amniotic membrane may be transplanted over the corneal ulcer.
In Stage 3, enzyme inhibitors and growth factors may be needed to prevent further breakdown of the corneal lining. More aggressive measures may be required to shut the eyelids to prevent drying and further breakdown.
In cases that have progressed beyond Stage 3, there may be irreversible damage. Corneal neurotization is a promising new procedure that may reverse neurotrophic keratopathy to varying degrees. Dr. Panossian is one of only a few surgeons in the world performing this unique surgery. Call us today if you have been diagnosed with neurotrophic keratopathy.
Why choose Dr Panossian
- He received his medical education at Tufts University School of Medicine.
- Graduated at the top of his class at UCLA, receiving Phi Beta Kappa and Summa Cum Laude honors.
- Was accepted into an elite combined general surgery and plastic surgery residency at the Keck School of Medicine of USC.
- Completed subspecialty training in craniofacial surgery at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto and Harvard Medical School.
- Was mentored by Dr. Ron Zuker in the practice of facial paralysis reconstruction. This prestigious fellowship position was available to only one surgeon in the United States.
- Is affiliated with various charitable and educational organizations, including Operation Smile and Mending Kids.
- Is a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and the highly selective American Association of Plastic Surgeons, reserved for only a select group of individuals nationally who have demonstrated excellence in academic plastic surgery.
- Holds memberships in several other professional societies including the American College of Surgeons and the American Society of Reconstructive Microsurgery.
- He serves on the Board of Directors for Mending Kids and the Gondobay Manga Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to the improvement of lives in Sierra Leone.
- Has been nominated by his peers annually since 2012 as a “Super Doctor.”
- Served as an expert medical consultant and appeared on The Doctors, Grey’s Anatomy, and Nip/Tuck.
- Has been featured as “Top Doctor” in US News and World Report, Pasadena Magazine, and Los Angeles Magazine.
Last modified by Dr. Andre Panossian