Keratoconus is a corneal disease that affects the shape of the cornea. A healthy cornea is smooth and round, while a cornea affected by keratoconus is shaped like a dome. This irregular shape interferes with the cornea’s ability to refract light properly, causing distorted vision.
Mild cases of keratoconus can be managed with Intacs, small implants that are inserted into the corneas to prevent them from bulging, thus maintaining clear vision. Texas Eye and Laser Center is pleased to offer this minimally invasive surgical treatment for patients with keratoconus. Continue reading to learn more.
What are Intacs?
Intacs are tiny, curved discs that are inserted under the surface of the eye to stabilize the shape of the cornea. The thickness of the discs varies, depending on the severity of the bulging. The thicker the ring, the more flattening of the cornea and vision correction occurs.
What Is the Procedure Like?
During the procedure, the eye doctor will create a small incision on the surface of the cornea. He or she will then create a tunnel between the cornea’s stroma, or middle, layers. The Intacs will then be safely inserted through the tunnel and into the cornea. Once finished, the doctor will close the incision using a small suture.
Is the Procedure Painful?
During the Intacs procedure, patients are awake and comfortable. Prior to implantation, the eye doctor will numb the eye with anesthetic eye drops to ensure maximum comfort. Following the procedure, patients may experience side effects like itchiness and dryness. These symptoms are temporary and should disappear a few days after the procedure. If necessary, the patient may be prescribed eye drop medication to manage post-op discomfort.
What Is the Recovery Like?
Downtime with the Intacs procedure is minimal. Most patients are able to see clearly the day after the procedure but are advised to take a few days off from normal activities and rest.
Are Intacs Permanent?
If the Intacs are not effective in managing keratoconus, they can be removed. Vision typically returns to its pre-op level within three months after the procedure.
To learn more about Intacs or other treatment options for keratoconus, please contact Texas Eye and Laser Center by calling (817) 540-6060.