Keratoconus is a congenital eye disease. It relates to this, that the shape of the cornea changes; it becomes thinner and takes a cone-like shape. Its curvature with time undergoes more changes and the patient clearly experiences a drastic worsening of his vision. The final stage of the development of the disease leads to an inevitable transplant of the cornea, but thanks to the cross-linking method, this can be avoided.

Cross-linking the cornea means the crosslinking of bonds for mechanical stabilization of its tissue. The disease cannot be reversed but at least it can be arrested at its current level. In many cases, after the procedure, the patient observes a slow return of the cornea to its regular shape.

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In the cross-linking method, the cornea is subjected to a combination of riboflavin solution drops (vitamin B2) and UV radiation. This method is also successfully used in other fields of medicine and various kinds of tissue, i.e. dentistry.

Currently cross-linking with riboflavin and UV radiation is often applied safely and effectively as treatments, seeking to arrest the growth of the keratoconus of the cornea. Besides the general risk of every operation, in this case this method is not known for side effects or complications.

Surgical procedure

Pre-procedure preparation. The patient must thoroughly wash his face with an agent with decontamination properties. Then the patient receives a local anesthesia in the form of a spray or the application of special drops to the eye, and his eyelids are immobilized during the operation. The surgeon removes the upper protective layer of the cornea and gives riboflavin drops, which stay in the eye for about 30 minutes. The next step lasts about 10 minutes and is the application of UV radiation to the cornea, after which the patient receives soft protective contact lens. Their role is to protect the eye during the recovery process. After the operation, the patient receives pharmacological treatment, which prevents the start of inflammation and reduces the post-operative discomfort. The protective lenses are removed by the surgeon after several days.

  • Preparation
    The first step is the disinfecting of the entire face. The patient is given anesthesia by eye drops or spray. The next step is the immobilizing of the eyelids. The whole preparatory process is pain free.
  • Riboflavin drops
    The procedure begins with the removal of the upper protective layer of the cornea, flap. Next is a 30-minute application of riboflavin drops to the eye.
  • UV radiation
    After the riboflavin drops are given is a ten-minute exposure to a UV radiation light.
  • Post-operative stage
    The final step is the protecting of the eye following surgery with a soft lens and pharmacological treatment, which has the goal of preventing inflammation and reduces the post-operative discomfort. Protective lenses are removed by the surgeon after several days. That is all!