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Corneal Neurotization

Corneal Neurotization

Loss of feeling in the cornea, or clear “window” of the eyeball, can be devastating. Without adequate sensory input from the eyeball, the blink reflex, tear production, and many other mechanisms for normal ocular health are adversely affected. This can lead to dry eyes, corneal abrasions or ulcerations, or even blindness.

This loss of feeling (called “corneal anesthesia”) can be caused by eye infections (for example, herpes virus), brain surgery, eye surgery, or congenital conditions. While the underlying condition may not be treatable, improving corneal sensation can restore normal protective functions to the eye and improve vision and quality of life.

Does insurance cover surgery?

Health insurance typically covers corneal neurotization. Please schedule a consultation so that we can comprehensively assess your eye and determine the best plan for you. We look forward to offering this exciting new procedure to help you with you or your child’s condition.

How is surgery performed?

Surgery is performed via a minimally invasive approach. First, a nerve conduit is selected; this may be a nerve from your own body (your face, leg, or other part of the body) or a commercially available nerve graft. This nerve is then sutured to connect a working nerve on your face with your cornea. Over time (6-24 months), the nerve tissue grows into the cornea and innervates it, allowing you to regain sensation.

Are there any side effects to surgery?

If a nerve graft is harvested from your own body, you may have numbness in that area. Risks to the eye or to the face are rare. Most patients regain some amount of sensation to the cornea, allowing for improved vision.

What is the aftercare?

You will have a patch over the eye for 1-3 days. After surgery, you will have bruising and swelling in the area that lasts 7-10 days and improves slowly. You will have to apply an antibiotic ointment for 1-2 weeks to keep the tissues lubricated and moist.

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    The Center for Eye and Facial Plastic Surgery
    35 Clyde Road, #104
    Somerset, NJ 08873
    Monday – Friday: 8:30a – 4:30p

    Livingston Office
    22 Old Short Hills Rd Suite 202
    Livingston, NJ 07039
    Monday: 9:00a – 5:00p
    Tuesday: 12:00p – 7:00p
    Wednesday – Friday: 9:00a – 5:00p

    P: (609) 608-0142
    F: (855) 644-0469

    Contact Us 609-608-0142