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First-of-Its-Kind Surgery for Severe Neurotrophic Keratopathy

FIGURE 1. Anterior segment photograph of the patient with neurotrophic keratopathy demonstrating a central corneal scar

FIGURE 1. Anterior segment photograph of the patient with neurotrophic keratopathy demonstrating a central corneal scar

After years without any definitive treatment options, a 45-year-old woman with stage 3 neurotrophic keratopathy (Figure 1) was referred to the Duke Eye Center. She had a history of a brain tumor, which had affected the function of her trigeminal nerve, resulting in loss of sensation on the left side of her face, including her cornea.

Her corneal anesthesia had led to corneal ulceration and perforation in the past, requiring emergent surgery to save her eye. She and her ophthalmologist reached out to Duke oculofacial plastic surgeon Ilya Leyngold, MD, to see if he could offer a long-term solution for the condition.

Question: What first-of-its-kind surgery did Leyngold perform to restore sensation in the patient’s cornea?

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