Does Topical Diclofenac Alleviate Pain Post-Photorefractive Keratectomy?

(HealthDay News) — For patients undergoing photorefractive keratectomy surgery, the administration of postoperative topical diclofenac does not alleviate pain, but is effective for local signs such as eyelid edema, according to a study published in the December issue of Clinical & Experimental Ophthalmology.

Alireza Eslampoor, M.D., from the Tehran University of Medical Sciences in Iran, and colleagues conducted a prospective randomized trial involving 68 individuals undergoing bilateral photorefractive keratectomy for myopic correction with or without astigmatism. Participants received 100 mg of extended-release oral diclofenac twice before surgery. After surgery, patients were randomized into case (diclofenac 0.1 percent drop administered for three days postoperatively) and control (given artificial tears) groups.

The researchers observed no significant between-group difference in pain level at two days after surgery. Furthermore, neither photophobia nor functional activity differed between the groups. In the control group, eyelid edema and conjunctival injection levels were significantly higher (P < 0.001).

“Administration of topical diclofenac to a standardized postoperative pain regime did not alleviate post-photorefractive keratectomy pain, although it is effective in local signs like eyelid edema and conjunctival injection,” the authors write. “It can be concluded that oral diclofenac is sufficient in the management of post-photorefractive keratectomy pain and addition of the topical diclofenac is unnecessary.”

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