From a surgical standpoint, the conjunctiva can be subdivided into three layers: The epithelial lamella, comprised of the epithelium and an underlying layer of connective tissue; a subepithelial fibrous layer; and the episcleral space (Fig. 160). The epithelial lamella is closely interlaced with the underlying fibrous layer and presents as a layer only when surgically dissected. It is then found to be compliant but of low elasticity, and thus tends to maintain any position assumed. It also exhibits an extensive surface area (Fig. 161), which is not ordinarily apparent due to the constricting effect of the adherent subepithelial fibers. 1 Directly adjacent to the globe is the episcleral space, which contains a small number of loose connective fibers (Fig. 162).
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