Intacs® are micro-thin prescription corneal inserts. These tiny, plastic semi-circular rings were previously used as a type of refractive surgery to treat low levels of myopia. The FDA recently approved Intacs® for the treatment of keratoconus. Since then, thousands of patients with keratoconus have been able to experience clearer vision!
How do Intacs® work?
Intacs® are inserted into the middle layer of the cornea. When inserted, the Intacs® help to flatten the cornea, reducing the affects of keratoconus. The placement of Intacs® aid in the reshaping of the cornea, getting rid of some of the irregularities at are caused by keratoconus.
This outpatient procedure is performed in 15 to 20 minutes, and requires little to no downtime. Your doctor will begin by applying topical anesthetic to numb the eye. A lid speculum is used to keep your eye open – so there is no need to worry about blinking during the procedure.
A single, tiny incision will be made in the surface of the cornea. This can be done either with a mechanical blade or with a laser. The surgeon will then create a “tunnel” in the corneal layers in a semi-circular shape, around the outer periphery of the cornea. The crescent shaped Intacs® are then inserted into the tunnel.
After the surgery, you will need someone there to drive you home. Most patients experience sharper vision the first day after surgery, while others take a little longer to see full results. Final results will vary on the severity of your keratoconus. Some patients may still need to wear glasses for certain activities.
Intacs® are very effective in reshaping the cornea and flattening the “cone-like” shape that blurs vision. In some cases, corneal crosslinking can be used in addition to Intacs® to achieve even better results.
Clinical Trials for Intacs® for Keratoconus
A study was conducted of 58 eyes of 43 patients with keratoconus. After Intacs® implantation, these patients saw an improvement in visual acuity from worse than 20/200 to better than 20/60. This is a huge improvement in those who live with mild to moderate keratoconus.
If you have been diagnosed with keratoconus and are interested in Intacs®, call Stahl Eye Experts in Long Island or request an appointment online!