Corneal Cross-Linking Frequently Asked Questions
The results may vary for each patient, but for reference, we’ll cite two clinical trials on progressive keratoconus patients.
In Study 1, the maximum corneal curvature of patients treated with corneal cross-linking surgery flattened by 1.4 diopters at 12-months post-procedure, while untreated patients increased by 0.5 diopters.
In Study 2, the maximum corneal curvature of patients who received the same treatment is 1.7 diopters (also after 12 months). Untreated patients, meanwhile, had an average increase of 0.6 diopters in their corneal curvature.
Our eye surgeons in Indiana will run you through the procedure beforehand, so you won’t go under the knife unaware. You can also look forward to the following:
- After numbing drops are applied, the epithelium (the thin layer on the surface of the cornea is gently removed.
- Photrexa Viscous eye drops will be applied to the cornea for at least 30 min;
- Depending on the thickness of your cornea, Photrexa drops may also be required.
- The cornea is then exposed to UV light for 30 minutes while additional Photrexa Viscous drops are applied.
- You should not rub your eyes for the first five days after the procedure.
- You may notice a sensitivity to light and have a foreign body sensation. You may also experience discomfort in the treated eye and sunglasses may help with light sensitivity.
- If you experience severe pain in the eye or any sudden decrease in vision, you should contact your physician immediately.
- If your bandage contact lens from the day of treatment falls out or becomes dislodged, you should not replace it and contact your physician immediately.
The actual procedure takes about an hour, but you’ll spend one hour at the office before and another hour after the corneal cross-linking surgery. This gives you enough time to prepare and recover before you return to the comfort of your own home.
Yes. Typically, doctors ask their patients to stop wearing contact lenses one week before the surgery. Once treated, patients may not be allowed back into contact lenses for 1 month.
Cross-linking is a minimally invasive, FDA approved, outpatient procedure that combines the use of riboflavin eye drops, Photrexa® Viscous, (riboflavin 5’-phosphate in 20% dextran ophthalmic solution), Photrexa® (riboflavin 5’-phosphate ophthalmic solution), and ultra-violet A (UVA) light from the KXL® system for the treatment of progressive keratoconus.
Patients over the age of 14 who have been diagnosed with progressive keratoconus should ask their doctor whether they may be an appropriate candidate for corneal cross-linking.
Please contact our practice for specific pricing information.
No. There is no change in the appearance of your eyes following keratoconus cross-linking surgery.
Yes, your doctor will apply topical anesthesia to numb the eye prior to the removal of the epithelium. This process helps prepare your eye so that the drug can penetrate the corneal tissue.
Keratoconus, often referred to as “KC”, is a non-inflammatory eye condition in which the typically round dome-shaped cornea progressively thins and weakens, causing the development of a cone-like bulge and optical irregularity of the cornea. This causes “static” in your vision and can result in significant vision impairment.
UVA is one of the three types of invisible light rays given off by the sun (together with ultra- violet B and ultra-violet C) and is the weakest of the three.