Intacs: Restoring Corneal Curvature, Keratoconus, Ectasia

Keratoconus and Corneal Ectasia:

Corneal ectasia is an umbrella term for a group of conditions that cause a progressive thinning and distortion of the corneal shape, including Keratoconus.  This page will review Intacs: Restoring Corneal Curvature, Keratoconus, Ectasia.  Please consult page on Keratoconus for complete discussion of that disease.

Traditional Treatment Options for Keratoconus and Corneal Ectasia prior to Intacs

Keratoconus and corneal ectasia are diseases that alter the normal curvature of the cornea.  Intacs are a choice in Restoring Corneal Curvature in Keratoconus and Ectasia.

Initial treatment:  – Glasses and Soft Contacts

Intermediate Stage – Gas permeable contacts or Customized rigid contacts

Late Stage –

1.    Intacs

Implantation increases corneal roundness

  • Results in a more optically normal cornea…

Better able to wear contact lenses successfully

  • Goals of INTACS Intervention
  • Reduce corneal coning
  • Restore functional vision
    • Improved vision is more comfortably achieved with contact lenses or, depending upon the severity, sometimes with soft contacts, glasses, or without any additional correction
  • Defer or eliminate the need for transplant

INTACS Procedure Benefits vs. Transplant

  • Minimally Invasive (in the surface layer of the eye)
  • Out-Patient Basis (Time: 15-20 Minutes)
  • Back to Normal Activity in 1-2 Days
  • Reversible

Vision often improves immediately and stabilizes in 1-3 months

  • Routine Postoperative Care
  • Cornea Not Weakened and Inserts Safely Removable
  • Fewer and Less Serious Potential Complications
    • 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. (most managed easily with removal)

2.  Corneal Transplant.

When contacts fail to work.

  • Cone shaped cornea makes hard contact lenses difficult to tolerate
    • Often worn for decreasing spans of time each day due to pain and irritation
  • Cornea transplant may be necessary when contacts fail to work or intacs do not give quality of vision desired.