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Corneal Crosslinking

What is keratoconus?

Keratoconus, often referred to as “KC”, is a non-inflammatory eye condition in which the typically round dome-shaped cornea progressively thins and weakens, causing the development of a cone-like bulge and optical irregularity of the cornea. This progressive condition can cause vision distortion and can result in significant vision impairment.

8 Potential Signs & Symptoms

1. Frequent Changes in Refraction or Increasing Cylinder
2. Family History of Keratoconus
3. Reduced Best Corrected Visual Acuity
4. Excessive Eye Rubbing
5. Frequent Headaches
6. Difficulty Seeing at Night
7. Halos and Ghosting
8. Increased Light Sensitivity


What is corneal cross-linking?

Cross-linking is a minimally invasive, FDA approved, outpatient procedure that combines the use of prescription eye drops, Photrexa® Viscous (riboflavin5’-phosphate in 20% dextran ophthalmic solution), Photrexa® (riboflavin 5’-phosphate ophthalmic solution), and ultra-violet A (UVA) light from the KXL® system for the treatment of progressive keratoconus.

Is cross-linking right for me?

Patients who have been diagnosed with progressive keratoconus should ask their doctor whether they may be an appropriate candidate for corneal cross-linking.

Does it hurt?

There is some discomfort during immediate recovery but usually not during the treatment. Immediately following treatment, a bandage contact lens is placed on the surface of the eye to protect the newly treated area. After the numbing drops wear off, there is some discomfort, often described as a gritty, burning sensation managed with Tylenol and artificial tears. Optional pain medications may be offered. Oral narcotic medications may be used.

What can I expect during the procedure?

  • After numbing drops are applied, the epithelium (the thin layer on the surface of the cornea) is gently removed.
  • Photrexa Viscous eye drops will be applied to the cornea for at least 30 min;
  • Depending on the thickness of your cornea, Photrexa drops may also be required.
  • The cornea is then exposed to UV light for 30 minutes while additional Photrexa Viscous drops are applied.

What can I expect after the procedure?

  • You should not rub your eyes for the first five days after the procedure.
  • You may notice a sensitivity to light and have a foreign body sensation. You may also experience discomfort in the treated eye and sunglasses may help with light sensitivity.
  • If you experience severe pain in the eye or any sudden decrease in vision, you should contact your physician immediately.
  • If your bandage contact lens from the day of treatment falls out or becomes dislodged, you should not replace it and contact your physician immediately.

What results can I expect?

In clinical trials, progressive keratoconus patients had an average Kmax2 reduction of up to 1.4 in Study 1 and 1.7 diopters in Study 2 (which is flattening) at 12-months post-procedure, while the control group had an average increase of up to 0.6 diopters at
12-months (which is steepening). Individual results may vary.

How much does corneal cross-linking cost?

Please contact our practice for specific pricing information.

For information on the FDA approved corneal cross-linking procedure for the treatment of keratoconus and corneal ectasia following refractive surgery, visit www.Avedro.com.

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