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January 2003

Temporary Tarsorrhaphy: A Valuable Procedure in Hansen Disease

Arch Ophthalmol. 2003;121(1):149. doi:10.1001/archopht.121.1.149

The temporary tarsorrhaphy technique described by Kitchens et al in the February 2002 issue of the ARCHIVES1 is, in our experience, 2 a remarkably useful technique to promote corneal healing, particularly in patients with Hansen disease. Corneal anesthesia and impaired orbicularis oculi function with secondary impairment of tear drainage can culminate in severe corneal ulceration, which often fails to respond to conventional therapy. Temporary tarsorrhaphy, which can easily be opened for inspection and reclosed, promotes rapid healing in almost every case when other strategies have failed. We have even seen large descemetoceles heal without additional intervention. In our practice, we use a bow to allow frequent opening, inspection, and reclosure. The drawstring method of securing the suture described by Kitchens et al represents an innovative and useful development of the technique.

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