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SLK and surgery

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  • SLK and surgery


    I just found this website on Saturday. What a wonderful place. I no longer feel crazy about making a big deal about my dry eyes by seeing numerous docs and trying to find some relief. No one else seems to understand..thanks for all of your posts.

    I was just diagnosed with SLK last week and am supposed to have surgery on one eye next week. SLK is a thickening of the conjunctive under the upper eyelid (hope I have this right) . The eyelid then scrapes across it causing small abrasions. The doc spends about 5 minutes in thinning the conjunctive (hope I have this right). '

    I looked at a couple of SLK posts; a lot came up in my search under SLK, but most of them did not mention SLK.

    Does anyone have experience with the surgery? What were your outcomes. I'm assuming this will not "cure" my dry eyes, but may help. I haven't found any side effects yer, I just don't want to make my eyes worse...


    Pat (Tears of Joy)
    P.S. As I dabbed my excess tears after getting 4 punctal plugs, I'd explain to folks that my eye condition sometimes causes Tears of Joy. They were to think of them as that. It seemed to help take the edge off when folks became less than understanding of the problem.

  • #2
    Pat, I have SLK, too! I had surgery for my slk a couple years ago and it was very successful. just like you said, the doctor will cauterize the top parts of your eyes and it takes several minutes. your eyes are numbed so you won't feel anything even though you're awake the whole time.

    after i had the surgery for SLK a lot of the inflammation and swelling in the upper parts of my eyes went down. i had to miss several days of school and my eyes were worn out for a couple weeks, but there were no side effects.... i just had to use steroid drops several times a day for a short amount of time. there is no nice way to put it, but basically, the part of your eye that is underneath your upper lids will look very bloody for a while from the surgery. within a month your eyes should be healed though.... well, "healed." as you said, there is no cure for slk, but it did help my eyes a little- some of the pain and swelling diminished for good. it's been two years and so far, so good.

    i'm just curious, but what caused your slk? i saw probably about ten doctors and they still aren't sure what caused mine, but they mentioned that it can be caused by sjogren's, hyperthyroidism, old age, hormone problems, and contact lenses.

    good luck with your surgery- don't worry, everything should go fine with it! keep us posted!


    • #3
      Thank you for sharing your SLK experience

      Hi Amy,

      Thanks so much for telling me about your experience. It makes me feel more comfortable about the procedure.

      I see that you 've posted a number of times. Do you still need to use drops, ointments, or anything else to help your eyes? I'm sitting here with onion goggles trying to keep some moisture in my eyes. The surgery sounded like such a relief that I was very excited, then got scared. I'll talk with the nurse tomorrow when I go to sign all of the paper work.

      I don't know why I have it. I do have low thyroid and have taken medication for over 20 years. My doc said it can be associated with low thyroid output. Other than that, he didn't have any real clues.

      I'll let you know...


      Pat (Tears of Joy)
      Last edited by Tears of Joy; 02-Jul-2007, 21:09. Reason: adding to it


      • #4
        although the surgery did help with some of the pain and swelling, it did not get rid of all the symptoms. i still deal with a lot of pain, burning, swelling, dryness, and redness. also, i still have to use restasis twice a day, plasma tears everyday, over the counter drops several times a day, and a gel for my eyes at night.

        even though the surgery doesn't get rid of all the problems, it is still a really good idea to get it... your eyes will be much healthier as a result of it, and the surgery will relieve a lot of the swelling, inflammation, and general irritation in the upper parts of your eyes.


        • #5
          I was excited when I saw your post because I have been living with these SLK's for the past year. But I'm confused because my doctor did not explain this condition as you wrote in your post. He tells me that it happens because my oil glands are blocked and then the bacteria "lays" up under my eyelids which causes the SLK. He has never talked about any kind of surgery. He just recommends that I use the hot compresses to loosen the glands so that my tears will wash away the bacteria. He describes it as a stagnant pond compared to a flowing river. He also tells me to keep my eyes moist with refresh tears.

          It is very painful, as I'm sure you know. And, as with every other thing about dry eyes, you never know when it's going to hit you. One day you are fine, and then you wake up with this terrible pain and red eyes.

          Have you had the surgery yet? If so, did it help?


          • #6
            Article on SLK

            Hi Amy and darviets,

            I found an article on SLK from the "Handbook of Ocular Disease Management" that elped me understand more about it. It is located at

            I got a little concerned after the response I got from Dr. Latkany and his hesitancy to do surgery without trying all other options first. I made another pre-op appointment with my doc for this afternoon.

            I did post a reply to Dr. Latkany, but I haven't seen it come up yet. I immediately ordered his book, which arrived yesterday (YEA!). After reading the parts of his book, I am more inclined to go ahead with the surgery, especially after Amy's reported improvement from the surgery. (THANK YOU AMY!) In the book, he uses the analogy of a river in comparison to tears. When no obstructions are in the way, the water runs smoothly down the river. When obstructions occur, there are ripples or currents that flow over the obstruction. The part of the river right next to and downstream of the obstruction doesn't get the same smooth flow of water. At least that's my take on what he said.

            Although Dr. Latkany does not address SLK in the book, I believe the thickening of the conjunctive would produce some irregular obstructions to the flow of tears as the eyelids move, resulting in some parts of the eye not receiving the nutrients and protection they need. Therefore, as the lid moves over the eye, there is friction in some parts where there should be lubricating tears. This then aggravates the dryer areas of the conjuctive even more.

            In his book, Dr. Latkany does talk about the benefits derived by a couple of his patients from surgery to even out the surface of the conjuctive. My doc wants to do a "surgical resection" to thin and even out the conjuctive. Then my tears should cover my eyes more consistently. I don't know if any tests have been done to determine the quality of my tears. I know that they did find that my tears evaporate much too quickly and I have been diagnosed with severe dry eyes. I anticipate that I'll still have to use at least some of the tools that are helping me cope right now.

            Keep in touch darviets and Amy. I'll let you know how it goes!



            • #7
     surgery right now... they got better


              Well, I went to see my doc this afternoon. He did another rose bengal test and found that my eye was much better today. He recommended not doing the surgery and continuing with what I'm doing. I know I should be happy, but the reality is setting in as to how my life is changing.

              Prior to a few weeks ago, I was able to wear regular glasses most of the time with protective glasses outside. I have used restatsis for nearly two years and supplement with other drops and ointment at night. Most recently, I need moisture barrier glasses inside and outside. I'm wearing my reading glasses over them. Yes... it is a really pretty sight. The humidifiers stay.

              He did prescribe serum eye drops, so I'll get those made up and try them. I also am thinking about having a set of clear moisture chambers made for my prescription glasses and getting some panopx for outdoors.

              So, that's the news. It really helps to know other people know what this is like to have dry eyes and I'm not just crazy. I've picked up some good tips.


              Last edited by Tears of Joy; 06-Jul-2007, 16:10. Reason: clarification