We aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of temperature-controlled laser soldering for repair of large perforated corneas in a porcine model. Eight Yorkshire pigs aged 6 months underwent 6-mm-deep 180° crescent-shaped trephination of the central corneas. Right corneal injuries were repaired by placement of 47 % bovine albumin along the cut followed by CO2 laser soldering (power density 16 W/cm2) to a target temperature of 65°. Left corneal injuries were repaired with 10/0 nylon sutures. The groups were compared for operative time, leakage, and histopathological findings. Mean tissue temperature was 63 ± 4 °C. Mean operative time was 31.57 ± 2.8 min in laser-soldered eyes and 41.38 ± 2.3 min in controls (p < 0.0001, unpaired Student’s t test). Compared to controls, the soldered corneas had less neovascularization, complete re-epithelization, and mild stromal inflammation. There was no leakage in either group. Combined CO2 laser and radiometer is effective for the in vivo repair of corneal cuts. These results have important implications for modern corneal surgery. Further studies are needed in the clinical setting.
- CO laser, controlled temperature soldering
- Corneal laser soldering
- Fiberoptic radiometry
- Infrared fibers