The healing corneal wounds consist of newly abutting corneal stroma, fibroblastic cells, and irregular fibrous connective tissue. Closer to the wound surface lies the epithelial plug, a bed of the cells that form the normal corneal epithelium which have fallen into the wound. Often this plug is three to four times as deep as the normal corneal epithelium layer. As the cells migrate from the depth of the plug up to the surface, some die before reaching it, forming breaches in the otherwise healthy epithelial layer. This, consequently, leaves the cornea more susceptible to infections. The risk is estimated to be between 0.25% and 0.7% Healing of the RK incisions is very slow and unpredictable, often incomplete even years after surgery. Similarly, infection of these chronic wounds can also occur years after surgery, with 53% of ocular infections being late in onset. The pathogen most commonly involved in such infections is the highly virulent bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
Read more about this topic: Radial Keratotomy
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