Corneal Collagen Cross-Linking is one of the recent advances in treatment of Keratoconus. The procedure is still considered experimental in the US but the long list of success in treatment of Keratoconus in several countries means that the procedure is rapidly gaining popularity. The procedure is also recommended for post-LASIK complications where the cornea becomes too thin as a result of corrective laser surgery.
The Theory Of Corneal Collagen Cross-Linking
The basic theory of Corneal Collagen Cross-Linking is based on the repairing the cornea of the eye through a combination of vitamin B-2 and UV light. The procedure provides mechanical strength to the cornea. The result is a marked improvement in the function of cornea and improved refection in the eye.
The Basic Procedure Of Corneal Collagen Cross-Linking
The basic procedure of Corneal Collagen Cross-Linking involves application of vitamin B-2, also known as riboflavin to the eye. The area is then irradiated with UV light to stabilize the vitamin.
The application of riboflavin is a onetime part of the procedure. This is usually done in the start of the procedure. UV-A light is them applied to the eye for about 30 minutes. This encourages the collagen in the cornea to grow bonds with the newly applied riboflavin. The result is a gradual growth. The procedure often takes an hour to three hours depending upon the specifics of the procedure and the type of Corneal Collagen Cross-Linking planned or the patient.
Types Of Corneal Collagen Cross-Linking
At present there are three types of Corneal Collagen Cross-Linking.
- Epithelium Off procedure that includes removal of a thin slice of cornea.
- Transepitheium procedure that keeps the epithelium layer intact
- Accelerated Cross-linking that reduced UV exposure by increasing the power of UV radiation.