Berkeley Eye Center was one of the first practices in Houston to treat patients with corneal cross-linking. Our practice has always been, and will always be committed to providing the most cutting edge technology for all of our patients.
What is the Corneal Cross-linking procedure?
The Corneal Cross-linking procedure, also known as CXL, is a minimally invasive in office procedure performed to strengthen the cornea. It is the first FDA approved technique to treat patients with keratoconus, an eye disease that can cause the cornea to become weak, thin, and unevenly shaped. Corneal Cross-linking has been shown to slow or halt the progression of keratoconus and keratectasia. This treatment will not eliminate the need for eyeglasses or contact lenses, but it can help maintain the current level of vision and prevent it from worsening. The corneal cross-linking procedure has been performed for over 15 years and is done routinely in other countries.
How does Corneal Cross-linking work?
Corneal cross-linking occurs naturally with age. The fibers in the cornea make more connections as we get older and our corneas become stiffer. The Corneal Cross-linking procedure (CXL) speeds up this process and causes these corneal fibers to link. The procedure uses riboflavin (vitamin b2) eye drops and ultraviolet light (UV-A) to cause a reaction that increases the bonds in the corneal fibers.
Who is a good candidate for this procedure?
Patients who have keratoconus or corneal ectasia from other causes are candidates since their corneas tend to change shape with time. Cornea Cross-linking is most effective if it can be done before the cornea has become too irregularly shaped or there is significant visual loss.
Other conditions that could potentially be treated with CXL include infectious corneal ulcers, and in the future may be used in conjunction with LASIK refractive surgery.
What to expect on the surgery day?
Prior to your surgery day, testing and a full examination are done to see if you are a candidate.
The surgeon will go over the procedure and answer any questions you may have.
The CXL procedure typically takes 60 minutes. The area around your eye will be cleaned and you will be given an oral sedative if you desire. You will then be positioned comfortably on a surgical bed. Anesthetic drops are used to make sure you do not have any discomfort during your procedure. The epithelium is removed and riboflavin drops are placed on the eye. The surgeon will then examine your eye to make sure the riboflavin drops have been absorbed to the correct depth of your cornea. You will then be reclined and positioned under the ultraviolet light for up to 30 minutes. A bandage contact lens will be placed and you will be instructed on how to use the prescription antibiotic and anti-inflammatory drops. You will then be discharged home with a follow up appointment the next day.
If you are interested in learning more about Corneal Cross-Linking, please contact our Pearland office at 713-436-1551
To schedule an appointment, please call our office at 713-526-1600 or schedule online.