What is Corneal Cross-Linking?

Corneal cross-linking is a minimally invasive outpatient procedure that uses ultraviolet light along with specially formulated eye drops to stiffen and strengthen corneas that have been weakened by disease or refractive surgery. Cross-linking is considered the standard of care around the world for progressive keratoconus and corneal ectasia following refractive surgery.

The corneal cross-linking procedure creates new corneal collagen cross-links that result in a shortening and thickening of the collagen fibers, creating new, stronger links to create a more stable cornea shape. The goal of this procedure is to keep the cornea from bulging more and avoid major surgery. If symptoms of keratoconus become severe, you may need a corneal transplant. Keratoconus is a condition that causes corneal thinning and weakening over time which creates a bulge shape that distorts vision.

Corneal cross-linking does not reverse corneal damage that has already occurred, it keeps them from getting worse. If you are a keratoconus patient, it’s best to consult with your eye doctor as soon as possible.

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Is Cross-Linking Right for Me?

Patients who have been diagnosed with keratoconus or corneal ectasia as a result of refractive surgery should ask their doctor about corneal cross-linking

Kleiman Evangelista Eye Centers of Texas offers patients the first and only FDA-approved therapeutic solution for the treatment of progressive keratoconus, iLink™ corneal cross-linking. Now, patients who once had little to no therapeutic options for keratoconus treatment have the opportunity to slow or halt the progression of this sight-threatening corneal disease.

A Team of Experts.

With decades of combined experiences, Kleiman Evangelista’s doctors provide industry-leading care using the latest, advanced technology and techniques.

What to Expect During The Procedure

Your surgeon will apply numbing drops to the eyes and will gently remove the epithelium (the thin layer on the surface of the cornea). Then specially formulated pharmaceutical-strength riboflavin eye drops will be applied to the cornea for at least 30 minutes. These drops will help enable the cross-linking reaction and allow your cornea to better absorb light. Another specialty drop may be required depending on your corneal thickness.

The cornea is then exposed to UV light for 30 minutes while additional drops are applied. The specialty drops combined with the UV light stiffens and strengthens the cornea to slow or halt progressive keratoconus. Cross-linking treatment takes about an hour.

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