Intacs Keratoconus Treatment
Eric D. Donnenfeld, MD, FAAO
Intacs corneal implants are clear, crescent-shaped devices that are surgically placed in the eye for treatment of low vision caused by keratoconus. These FDA-approved devices help reshape the front surface of the eye, thereby eliminating myopia and astigmatism in keratoconus sufferers. Often, keratoconus patients who receive Intacs are able to reduce their dependence on glasses and contact lenses.
Keratoconus is an eye disease associated with corneal thinning, eventually resulting in an abnormally shaped cornea and distorted vision. Read more about keratoconus on our keratoconus education page.
Intacs: The Procedure
Intacs are made of the same biocompatible material found in intraocular lens implants (IOLs) used during cataract surgery. Therefore, Intacs do not cause allergic reactions. The Intacs procedure takes about 15 minutes per eye and is performed on an outpatient basis under anesthetic eye drops.
During the operation, Dr. Donnenfeld creates a tunnel between layers of the cornea just outside the central optical zone. He then places one or two Intacs of appropriate thickness in the eye, thereby correcting the shape of the cornea and improving the patient's vision.
Although designed to provide keratoconus patients with improved vision, the Intacs procedure does not halt the progression of keratoconus. For patients seeking keratoconus-specific treatment, Dr. Donnenfeld offers the advanced corneal collagen cross linking (CXL) procedure. He is also a skilled Long Island corneal transplant surgeon.
Recovery and Results
Intacs surgery recovery usually lasts from 24 to 48 hours, after which patients achieve improved vision. During the healing process, Dr. Donnenfeld prescribes antibiotics to reduce the possibility of infection and provides top-notch aftercare and routine follow-up appointments to prevent other complications associated with surgery.
Intacs have proven to be quite successful for many patients. In fact, according to clinical studies, more than half of Intacs patients achieved 20/40 uncorrected vision or better.