Keratoconus is a thinning disorder of the cornea that causes distortion and reduced vision. The normal curvature in the eye becomes cone-like and thins. The cone shape of the cornea deflects the light entering the eye causing the distorted vision.
Keratoconus develops slowly, although in some cases it may occur rapidly. As the cornea becomes irregular it causes nearsightedness and astigmatism creating further visual problems. It may also cause glare and light sensitivity.
Keratoconus is treated by specialty contact lenses and glasses for mild cases. For more advanced keratoconus, corneal transplant surgery may be necessary.
Crosslinking Treatment for Keratoconus
To estimate the financial burden of Keratoconus, researchers determined a patient could be expected to pay more than $25,000 over his or her lifetime post-diagnosis. Cost of care involves contact lenses, surgical interventions if needed like an Intacs or corneal transplant.
Cornea and Cataract Center Is the only laser center in El Paso, Texas that counts with The Avedro system. This is the first FDA approved therapeutic treatment for these orphan indications and entitles Avedro to seven years of US market exclusivity.
Intacs – Treatment for Keratoconus
Inctacs is an FDA approved surgical procedure for keratoconus. They are thin plastic, semi-circular rings inserted into the mid layer of the cornea. When inserted in the keratoconus cornea they flatten the cornea, changing the shape and location of the cone. The placement of Intacs remodels and reinforces the cornea, eliminating some or all of the irregularities caused by keratoconus in order to provide improved vision. This can improve uncorrected vision, however, depending on the severity of the KC, glasses or contact lenses may still be needed for functional vision.
Intacs Surgery Procedure
This procedure involves placing the plastic inserts just beneath the surface of the eye in the periphery of the cornea. The procedure itself takes approximately 15 to 20 minutes usually in the doctor’s office. Topical anesthetic drops are used to numb the eye, and a clamp is used to hold the eye open throughout the procedure to prevent blinking. There are 3 basic steps to the procedure:
Step 1: A single, small incision is made in the surface of the cornea. Instead of using mechanical cutting, some surgeons may use a laser to make the incision.
Step 2: A centering guide is placed on the surface of the eye for several minutes to help stabilize the eye and ensure proper alignment of the Intacs insert. During this time, the corneal layers are gently separated in a narrow circular band on the outer edge where the Intacs will be placed.
Step 3: The Intacs inserts are placed. Once this insertion is completed, the small opening in the cornea is closed with a suture. Follow-up visits will be required to monitor the healing process and to evaluate the visual benefits of the procedure. Even after a successful procedure, glasses or contacts may be required. As with any surgical procedure, there are some risks, including infection. Some patients experience visual symptoms including difficulty with night vision, glare, halos, blurry and fluctuating vision.