Collagen Cross-Linking (CXL) for Keratoconus
Keratoconus is a progressive disease of the cornea. With collagen cross-linking (CXL), you can halt the progression of keratoconus by strengthening your cornea. This ground-breaking procedure has helped tens of thousands of people around the world. NVISION is proud to offer the only FDA approved cross-linking treatment for keratoconus and it is covered by many major insurance plans.
The disease causes progressive weakening and thinning of the cornea, which causes it to bulge into a cone shape. It is typically not correctable with glasses, requiring specialty contact lenses, or in severe cases if left untreated, a corneal transplant.
During the consultation, we will ask you about your eye health history and your medications, and perform some tests. You will then be examined by the doctor who will discuss your treatment options. This visit usually takes about an hour and your personal Patient Counselor will help you throughout the process. Your Counselor can review payment options and schedule you for surgery and related appointments, such as pre and post-operative exams.
Prior to your procedure, pre-operative measurements (a dilated exam) need to be completed. You will have a set of instructions to follow to prepare for your surgery date that includes steps like taking prescribed eye drops and setting up a ride for your procedure day.
Plan to be at the center for two to three hours the day of your procedure. Collagen cross-linking is an outpatient procedure performed in our office with numbing eye drops and a mild sedative. The procedure involves placing Riboflavin Vitamin B2 eye drops on the surface of the eye and then applying a special ultraviolet light to strengthen your cornea. The entire procedure takes between an hour and an hour and a half. The day of your procedure should be a day of rest.
Your post-operative treatment plan will be outlined so you know what to expect including your post-operative visit and your at-home recovery. Your recovery will include taking prescription eye drops and medication to help the healing process. Care should be taken not to bump or rub your eyes.
If you have keratoconus, your cornea has too few cross-links—or support beams—allowing your cornea to bulge outward into a cone shape.
The cross-linking procedure adds cross-links to your cornea. Once it has been distorted, the cornea cannot regain shape, but this procedure stabilizes and strengthens your cornea, which stops the thinning process and limits further vision loss.
NVISION is one of the leaders in keratoconus care and surgery. Most importantly, our surgeons are keratoconus surgery pioneers and they thoroughly analyze your unique condition to develop a personalized treatment approach.
Early treatment for keratoconus is necessary to prevent it’s progression. While the patients that benefit the most from crosslinking are in their teens or twenties, any patient that demonstrates active disease with progressive thinning can benefit. CXL is a treatment to consider if you are in one of the following categories:
- You have been newly diagnosed with keratoconus. The earlier you have the treatment, the earlier you have the potential of stopping your disease from progressing.
- You have been living with keratoconus—even if you are getting good vision with contacts. Your disease may very well be progressing despite good vision or comfortable contact lens wear. Any progression is irreversible, and CXL is the only procedure that can stop the progression of the disease.
See More FAQs