What to expect from the corneal collagen cross-linking procedure:
Before the procedure, you’ll be given local anaesthetic drops, so you won’t feel any pain.
Your surgeon will carefully and painlessly remove the surface of your cornea, and riboflavin (Vitamin B2) drops will be applied to your eye for 20 minutes.
Then, a measured dosage of UV light is applied to your cornea for a further 10 minutes. Together with the riboflavin, the UV light encourages bonds between collagen fibrils to form, strengthening your cornea.
After the treatment, a contact lens will be placed on your eye to help with healing and make your eye more comfortable. You’ll need to keep this in place for a few days, and you’ll also be given eye drops to use. Any discomfort during healing is usually mild, and should only last the first few days.
Corneal collagen cross-linking is an exciting new development in keratoconus treatment that could potentially save your sight, especially if you are treated early on. Even those who are treated later on may find that it halts the development of their condition, preventing the need for a corneal transplant.
Alternative treatments for keratoconus
Every patient is different, and your ophthalmologist will always recommend the appropriate keratoconus treatment for you. This could include glasses, contacts, corneal implants or corneal transplant surgery.
Intacs and Kerarings are tiny, transparent, semi-circular, plastic implants. They are placed within your cornea to make its shape more normal. Corneal implants are designed to make it more comfortable to wear hard contact lenses, but they may even improve your vision to the point where you can use soft contacts or glasses instead.
Intacs (on finger)
In a corneal transplant operation, the surgeon will replace all or part of your damaged cornea (the clear front surface of your eye) with healthy donor corneal tissue. A corneal transplant (also called cornea grafting or keratoplasty) is usually done to help restore your vision, but can be done for comfort or appearance too.
If you need a corneal transplant, choose the latest techniques and high quality care on offer at Eye Institute's dedicated eye surgery clinic.