Collagen Cross Linking (CXL) – treatment for Keratoconus
The only procedure that can strengthen the cornea!
We are the only clinic that can perform the procedure on both eyes simultaneously.
Collagen Cross linking is:
- Painless, Safe and Quick
- Non- surgical
- Out patient procedure
Who is suitable for Collagen Cross linking (CXL) treatment?
Anyone with progressive Keratoconus is potentially suitable. Early treatment with CXL can prevent the need for corneal grafting.
However Collagen Cross linking can still be beneficial decades after Keratoconus has begun to develop.
To find out how you might benefit from corneal Collagen Cross Linking (CXL) with riboflavin, contact our St Helens Clinic today on 01744 646 643. Mr Deepak Chitkara will be happy to discuss this advanced treatment method with you in detail.
About the procedure
In most cases, corrective lenses are effective enough to allow the patient to continue to drive legally and likewise function normally. They must usually be fitted by a specialist in keratoconus. Lens choices include hard RGP, sclerals and hybrids, however some patients prove to have low tolerance. If the keratoconus is not too advanced, we can offer collagen cross-linking with riboflavin (CXL), a non-surgical treatment that can stop keratoconus from progressing.
CXL keratoconus treatment is a safe, painless, out-patient procedure. Our new method of CXL treatment means that there is minimal discomfort afterwards; maybe a slight feeling of grittiness for the first 24 hours.
CXL treatment involves application of riboflavin phosphate eye drops to the cornea followed by exposure to UV radiation 365nm for 30 minutes. The combination of the light and riboflavin causes chemical bonds to form within the cornea or cross linking of the collagen fibres, increasing its rigidity by up to 300%.
The whole process takes about one-and-a-half hours. After the procedure, a protective soft contact lens is worn for about 48 hours, and eye drops need to be instilled for the next four weeks.
Studies have so far indicated that the procedure stops progression of the disease in 97% of cases and even regression of keratoconus in up to 50% of cases over 1 year.
Collagen cross linking is the only treatment that helps to arrest the progression of keratoconus and thereby possibly avoiding the need for corneal transplantation in the future.
The technical specifications of CXL instruments vary, particularly in their ability to provide even illumination at the cornea. Mr Chitkara has carefully chosen what he considers to be currently the best equipment for the CXL procedure.
Other treatments for Keratoconus
Further progression of the disease may require surgery, for which there are several options, including:
- Intacs with or without corneal collagen cross-linking,
- Implantable Contact Lenses (ICL) or
- Corneal transplantation when all avenues are exhausted. Corneal transplantation is quite major surgery and carries significant risks. The optical outcome is uncertain, contact lenses are still needed afterwards in most cases and the transplant may have to be repeated every 10 to 15 years.