Objectives: The aim of this study was to investigate the prognosis of visual acuity (VA) in the patients with keratoconus, who underwent deep anterior lamellar keratoplasty (DALK) with a successful big bubble or lamellar dissection.
Methods: Sixty-eight eyes of 60 patients with keratoconus, who underwent DALK using the big-bubble technique, were enrolled in this retrospective comparative study. The VA and refractive errors were assessed before the operation and, thereafter, at months 1, 3, 6, and 12 after the operation (1) in the patients who achieved a big-bubble formation, and in those who required layer-by-layer lamellar dissection (2) to reach the Descemet membrane.
Results: Successful big bubble was achieved in 50 eyes (73.5 %) (group 1), and lamellar dissection was performed in 18 eyes (26.5 %) (group 2). The mean follow-up period was 22.4±6.2 months in group 1 and 23.7±7.8 months in group 2 (P=0.562). Although best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA) values observed at months 1 and 3 were significantly higher in group 1 than in group 2 (P=0.016 and P=0.024, respectively), there was no statistically significant difference between the two groups for BCVA values observed at months 6 and 12 (P=0.412 and P=0.528, respectively).
Conclusions: Although the visual recovery was delayed in the early postoperative follow-up because of residual stroma in lamellar dissection, the final results were comparable between the achievement of big-bubble formation and lamellar dissection.