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Implantation of ring segments in the cornea

To correct keratoconus, the ophthalmologist can implant intacts in the cornea. Intacts are thin semicircular ring segments with a maximum thickness of 0.45 mm, which are placed in the cornea. These kerarings, as intacts are also called, are made of clear, body-friendly plastic. This material has been used for artificial lenses in cataract surgery for more than 50 years. These rings provide extra volume in the cornea, making the shape of the cornea at the location of the rings flatter. That makes the cone shape less steep. This gives the irregular cornea a more regular shape. And that makes correction with glasses or contact lenses a lot easier.

Intacts suitable for everyone?

Before proceeding with the placement of ring segments, an extensive ophthalmic examination by an ophthalmologist is required. The ophthalmologist measures the strength and visual acuity of the eye. Furthermore, the curvature of the cornea is measured with special equipment. The thickness of the cornea is also measured in a number of places. To be able to take these measurements carefully, you should not wear contact lenses for a few weeks. Implanting intacts is intended for people who cannot tolerate their contact lenses and who do not yet qualify for a cornea transplant due to a clear cornea. Intacts can cause visual acuity to improve. It can also be easy to prescribe good glasses after this procedure. Intacts are not suitable for people with scars on the cornea, people under 21 years of age, pregnant and breastfeeding women.

Placing intacts

Implantation of intacts is done in 3 steps under local anesthesia with drops and proceeds as follows:

  • making the tunnels where the intacts eventually enter
  • inserting the intacts into the tunnels
  • closing the wound with a suture

While the tunnels are being made, the pressure in the eye is artificially increased by means of a suction ring that appears to be getting dark for a while. The procedure takes about 15 minutes and is not painful.

After placing intacts

Although the procedure itself is not painful, you may have eye pain after treatment. It can cause a burning sensation that lasts about a day. Your eye may also be slightly hypersensitive to light for a few days. After the implantation of the intacts, you will receive a prescription for 2 types of eye drops that you must use for approximately three weeks after the operation. Follow-up checkups are very important to determine further treatment. After a month, it will be checked whether it is possible to apply a correction that allows you to see again. If necessary, you will receive advice for contact lenses or glasses.

Intacts in combination with crosslinking

In many cases, the implementation of intacts is combined with a cross-linking treatment .

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