Original Article | Open Access
Application of a Cold Patch for Relieving Pain after Transepithelial Photorefractive Keratectomy
Although photorefractive keratectomy often results in better corneal stability and fewer corneal flap complications than LASIK, pain remains a major drawback of the procedure. The authors compared the safety and efficacy of a postoperative cold patch versus intraoperative application of a chilled balanced salt solution on transepithelial photorefractive keratectomy-related postoperative pain.BACKGROUND: A return toward toward photorefractive keratectomy has occurred due to better corneal stability and fewer corneal flap complications; however, pain remains a major drawback of the procedure. Currently, clinical pain control measures focus on the administration of pain medications, which may delay corneal epithelial healing and has, occasionally, led to serious corneal toxicity.OBJECTIVES: To investigate the safety and efficacy of a cold patch on postoperative pain and other relevant consequences of transepithelial photorefractive keratectomy.METHODS: A prospective, randomized controlled study was conducted. Forty patients (80 eyes) scheduled to undergo transepithelial photorefractive keratectomy for myopia or myopic astigmatism were randomly and equally assigned to be treated with ice-cold balanced salt solution during surgery (wash group) or to wear a postoperative cold patch on the eye for 24 h. The main outcomes were pain score on a visual analogue scale, postoperative eyelid edema, conjunctival hyperemia, epithelial healing time, haze and postoperative best-corrected visual acuity.RESULTS: All patients completed the final tests. Demographic characteristics and pain scores during surgery were similar between the two groups. The mean postoperative pain scores of patients in the cold patch group at 8 h, 16 h and 24 h were significantly lower than those of patients in the wash group. Scores for postoperative eyelid edema and conjunctival hyperemia in the cold patch group were also lower than in the wash group. Patients in the cold patch group used fewer painkillers. Epithelial healing time, haze and early recovery of visual acuity were similar between the two groups. No eyelid frostbite was observed.CONCLUSION: Wearing a cold patch on the eye after transepithelial photorefractive keratectomy effectively relieved pain and inflammation, and reduced the use of painkillers without any side effects.
Copyright © 2015 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.