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A Combined Approach of Amniotic Membrane and Oral Mucosa Transplantation for Fornix Reconstruction in Severe Symblepharon

Kheirkhah, Ahmad MD; Ghaffari, Reza MD; Kaghazkanani, Reza MD; Hashemi, Hassan MD; Behrouz, Mahmoud Jabbarvand MD; Raju, Vadrevu K. MD, FRCS

doi: 10.1097/ICO.0b013e318247983d
Clinical Science

Purpose: To evaluate the results of a combined approach of cicatrix lysis, intraoperative mitomycin C (MMC) application, oral mucosal transplantation (OMT), and amniotic membrane transplantation (AMT) for surgery of severe symblepharon.

Methods: This prospective study included 32 eyes with severe symblepharon in which after cicatrix lysis the residual conjunctiva was not enough to cover the tarsus (grade III symblepharon) or there was no residual conjunctiva (grade IV symblepharon). After symblepharon lysis and MMC application, OMT was used to cover the tarsus throughout to fornix, and AMT with fibrin glue was performed to cover the exposed sclera. Outcome was defined as complete success (restoration of an anatomically deep fornix), partial success (focal recurrence of scar), or failure (return of symblepharon).

Results: Etiology of symblepharon included chemical burn (n = 16), thermal burn (n = 7), Stevens–Johnson syndrome (n = 5), mucous membrane pemphigoid (n = 2), xeroderma pigmentosum (n = 1), and graft-versus-host disease (n = 1). Motility restriction was present in 87.5% preoperatively. After a mean follow-up of 16.4 ± 7.6 months, the anatomical outcome included complete success in 84.4%, partial success in 9.4%, and failure in 6.2%. In grades III and IV symblephara, the outcomes were complete success in 89.5% and 76.9%, partial success in 10.5% and 7.7%, and failure in none and 15.4%, respectively. No motility restriction was noted in any eye postoperatively. Complications included entropion (n = 2), ocular surface keratinization (n = 1), and pyogenic granuloma (n = 4).

Conclusions: In severe symblepharon, a combined approach of cicatrix lysis, MMC application, OMT, and sutureless AMT was a safe and effective technique for fornix reconstruction.

Supplemental Digital Content is Available in the Text.

Eye Research Center, Farabi Eye Hospital, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

Reprints: Ahmad Kheirkhah, Eye Research Center, Farabi Eye Hospital, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Qazvin Square, South Kargar St, Tehran 1336616351, Iran (e-mail:

The authors state that they have no proprietary interest in the products named in this article.

Supplemental digital content is available for this article. Direct URL citations appear in the printed text and are provided in the HTML and PDF versions of this article on the journal's Web site (

Received September 2, 2011

Accepted December 15, 2011

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