BIODOPTIX AMNIOTIC GRAFT
One new and exciting treatment for ocular surface disease is the use of the Amniotic Membrane Allograft. Dr. Massengale is the most experienced provider in the state of Oklahoma in the treatment of ocular surface disease using the BioDOptix amniotic membrane allograft. This transplantation of amniotic membrane to the ocular surface promotes healing of corneal ulcers, chronic corneal epithelial defects, keratitis, severe chronic dry eye, keratoconjunctivitis sicca, recurrent corneal erosions, corneal chemical burns, foreign body removal, pterygia and in other corneal disease cases.
An amniotic membrane is the innermost layer of the placenta, consisting of a thick basement membrane and an avascular stromal matrix. On the eye, this membrane can be used as a dressing to facilitate ocular surface reconstruction and repair, and to promote healing of the eye surface. This painless, in office procedure takes only a few minutes to perform.
The procedure consists of first placing an eyelid speculum between the upper and lower lids of one eye. The eye is anesthetized before the very thin graft is applied to the cornea. A bandage soft contact lens is placed over the allograft in order to help keep it in the location it is most needed. The speculum is then removed and the patient discharged.
Over the course of 4-6 days, the allograft is dissolved into the corneal surface.
FAQ WITH THE PROCEDURE:
Is the graft made from fetal tissue? No. It is derived from a tiny layer of human amniotic tissue (the sac that holds a baby). If the delivering mother has consented, the amniotic sac is donated to science after her delivery..
Is the graft wet? No. The graft is dry and only 40 microns in thickness.
How long does it take to work? Typically, the allograft has dissolved within 5 days. Patients generally notice a benefit to vision and comfort within 1 to 2 weeks.
Is the procedure painful? No. Inserting the speculum is usually the most uncomfortable part of the procedure, and is due to opening the eye for an extended period of time. The bandage lens may also be mildly noticeable. Occasionally, we see an acute allergy to the allograft, and must remove it the first day or two.
What if the bandage contact lens falls out? It is recommended patients do not try to put the lens back in the eye, but should contact our office immediately.
Can eye drops be used after the procedure? Yes. Patients should continue to use eye drops as instructed.
Are grafts tested for disease? Yes. A rigorous testing process is used to determine the highest quality, disease-free tissue available for use in the creation of the allograft.
Is this the same as a corneal transplant? No. This procedure is for transplanting a tiny graft onto the ocular surface, for the purpose of tissue repair.
Does insurance cover it? Yes. This treatment option is reserved for moderate and severe ocular surface disease, as well as for non-healing corneal injury and disease, and is considered a surgical procedure, for which medical insurance provides coverage.
Which amniotic grafts are the best? Many companies produce quality amniotic grafts. BioDOptix is the brand we use. We have found it to be the most comfortable of the allografts we have used.
The patient’s vision will be mildly blurry immediately after the procedure, but will improve as the membrane dissolves over 4-6 days.