Widder, 1998 (laser eye injury)

Widder, 1998

Title: Corneal injury after carbon dioxide laser skin resurfacing.

Author: Widder RA, Severin M, Kirchhof B, Krieglstein GK

Journal: Am J Ophthalmol 1998 Mar;125(3):392-4

PMID: 9512161

Affiliated institution: Department of Ophthalmology, University of Cologne, Germany. randolf.widder@uni-koeln.de

Cited in:

This article reports on damage to the corneas of both eyes in a patient who had laser skin resurfacing. A 67-year-old woman had severe pain and decreased vision in both eyes after undergoing laser skin resurfacing treatment with a pulsed carbon dioxide laser. Clinical examination disclosed a corneal ulcer, a bullous keratopathy, and intrastromal bleeding. After perforating keratoplasty, the histologic examination of the cornea showed signs of thermal injury. CONCLUSIONS: The results of the histologic examination and the onset of symptoms within 24 hours after therapy suggest that the laser application caused the corneal damage. Safety guidelines for this procedure should be reviewed.

While there have been no documented cases of eye injury from laser hair removal at this time, the possibility exists. Cases like these underline the importance of using adequate safety measures when using medical lasers near the eye.