What is a Corneal Biopsy?

Corneal biopsy is a minor procedure of removing a small sample of the superficial corneal. The procedure can be an effective aid in establishing diagnoses in a variety of infections, dystrophic and degenerative conditions, corneal manifestations of systemic diseases, and drug-induced changes. This procedure is used for making diagnosis and helping the doctor in identifying different types of corneal problems.


1. Injection of local anaesthesia or instillation of anaesthetic drops. 2. Usually a sterile surgical blade or a trephine (a surgical instrument used to remove a very small bit of cornea) is used; a piece of corneal tissue with diameter of around 1 to 2 mm is removed. 3. The specimen will be sent to pathology for culturing and examination.

What are the possible risks and complications?

1. Bruises and swelling after local anaesthetic injection 2. Eye discomfort (including redness, pain and fear of bright light) 3. Corneal thinning or perforation 4. Corneal scar formation 5. Poor wound healing or recurrent corneal abrasion 6. Corneal swelling or oedema 7. Corneal and eyeball infection 8. Blurring of vision / loss of vision 9. Astigmatism 10. Allergy to eye drops 11. Transient blackout or fainting due to stress or vasovagal attack (usually recover after several minutes) 12. Eyeball perforation (uncommon) 13. Blindness (very rare and usually caused by the underlying disease) ** The risks listed above are in general terms and the possibility of complications is not exhaustive. Please understand that even though all operations are carried out with utmost professionalism and care this does not rule out the possibility of complications arising. In the event of peripheral organ damage or post-operative haemorrhage or leakage, further operations may be required.

Pre-operative Preparations

1. Good hygiene can prevent infection. 2. The procedure and possible complications will be explained by the doctor and a consent form must be signed prior to the operation. 3. Please inform the doctor and nurse all your past medical history, previous surgical operations, current medication and any complication with drug or anaesthesia. Please inform the doctor if you are taking medications that affect blood coagulation such as Aspirin,Warfarin, Xarelto or Pradaxa, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug(NSAID) such as ibuprofen, naproxen. 4. Please change into a surgical gown after removing all belongings including undergarments, dentures, jewellery and contact lenses. Do not put creams, lotions, or makeup on the face or around the eyes. 5. Please empty your bladder before the operation.

Post-operative Instructions and Advices on Discharge

1. Please avoid rubbing your eye. 2. Please avoid wearing contact lens for a week. 3. Good hygiene, especially eye and hand hygiene can reduce the risk of infection. 4. Please avoid swimming and strenuous exercise for a week. 5. Immediately consult your doctor in the event of experiencing acute eye symptoms like severe eye pain or blurring of vision or any other unusual symptoms etc. 6. Any follow-up consultations should be attended as scheduled. Should there be any enquiries or concerns, please consult the attending doctor.

Location to Ashton Clinic