FAQs about Amniotic Membranes

Dr. Sandra Belmont is pleased to offer a very promising therapeutic device to repair and protect the ocular surface: amniotic membrane. Acellular amniotic membrane allografts have shown great potential to heal eye surfaces threatened by injury or disease. Read on as Dr. Belmont answers commonly asked questions about amniotic membrane.

What is an amniotic membrane used for?

Amniotic membrane tissue is used for therapeutic purposes in cases of certain eye injuries and diseases. It is specifically designed for conditions affecting the cornea, or the clear outermost part of the eye through which light enters, and the conjunctiva, which is the clear thin tissue covering the outer surface of the eye everywhere except the cornea.

Amniotic membrane has been shown to help repair, heal and protect the surface of the eye. It acts as a physical barrier to protect corneal and conjunctival tissue as it heals from disease, surgery or injury. It helps promote cellular growth and inhibit cell death. The use of amniotic membrane has also been shown to reduce inflammation on the surface of the eye.

How does Dr. Belmont use amniotic membranes?

Dr. Belmont can use amniotic membrane in cases of the following:

  • Corneal ulcers
  • Keratitis
  • Stevens-Johnson syndrome
  • Pterygia
  • Physical or mechanical trauma
  • Dysfunctional tear syndrome
  • Limbal stem cell deficiency
  • Other corneal defects

Where do the amniotic membranes come from?

Amniotic membranes are harvested from placental tissue. The tissue protects a growing baby while it is in the womb and has natural therapeutic properties. The membrane is decellularized and stabilized after harvesting. The purification process removes cellular content and biomaterials to produce a pristine membrane rich in bioactive peptides that promote healing and cell growth.

What is the process of placing an amniotic membrane?

Dr. Belmont uses Blythe Medical Aril amniotic membrane, which can be placed directly on the surface of the eye during an in-office procedure. Available in different sizes and shapes, the pieces of tissue are clear, like the cornea and conjunctiva. There is a follow-up appointment approximately four to six weeks after treatment to monitor the eye’s progress.

How is Aril different from other amniotic membranes?

Unlike other types of amniotic membrane, which are placed via a mechanism similar to a contact lens, Aril is applied directly to the surface of the eye. It does not need to be removed like amniotic membranes that involve a contact lens.

If you have additional questions about Aril amniotic membrane, Dr. Belmont invites you to contact our New York City practice by calling (212) 486-2020 today.