Keratoconus Treatments Offer Relief

Surgical treatments are available for keratoconus: Corneal collagen cross linking, Intrastromal corneal ring segments (INTACS®), corneal transplantation with a Femtosecond laser, and partial thickness cornea transplants (DALK – Deep Anterior Lamellar Keratoplasty).

Cross linking increases the number of collagen bonds in the cornea to add strength and keep its shape.

Collagen Crosslinking

Corneal Collagen Cross-Linking (CXL or KXL) is a technique that uses advanced technology to treat patients with keratoconus, pellucid marginal degeneration and post LASIK ectasia. The cross-linking procedure strengthens the cornea, and stops the progression of the disease. CXL is a relatively non-invasive procedure that is done with vitamin drops and light in the office. Learn more about this procedure by visiting CXL USA's site.

INTACS® plastic rings

With the INTACS® procedure, two tunnels are made in the middle layer of the cornea (stroma) and two C-shaped plastic ring segments are inserted. This is a painless, 10-15 minute procedure.

The rings reshape the cornea, which helps restore the cornea to a more normal shape. This, in turn, helps to improve the vision with glasses and/or contact lenses.

Cornea transplant

When there is advanced keratoconus, with extreme cornea thinning and/or corneal scarring, a corneal transplant may be the only treatment option.

At Northwest Eye Surgeons, we use a Femtosecond laser for cornea transplantation. The Femtosecond laser keratoplasty allows for a more exact tissue fit and usually allows for faster healing and faster visual recovery. Northwest Eye Surgeons is the first in Washington state to provide this laser technology for corneal transplantation. We offer full thickness and some partial thickness cornea transplants with this laser.                          

If you have keratoconus, you should keep regularly scheduled appointments with your eye doctor to monitor the health of your corneas.

Keratoconus Support Group: National Keratoconus Foundation