What is Corneal Collagen Cross-Linking?
Corneal collagen cross-linking (CXL) is a noninvasive one-hour treatment for progressive keratoconus and post-LASIK corneal ectasia. Remarkably, this treatment uses only a riboflavin solution and ultraviolet light to strengthen corneal bonds. CXL treatments not only slow the progression of keratoconus, but also improve vision in more than 50% of patients treated!
Did You Know?
Cross-Linking is an Excellent Treatment for Keratoconus
Dr. Paul Cutarelli of Denver & Fort Collins is one of the top eye surgeons in Colorado to perform Corneal Cross-Linking. With over 60,000 eye surgery procedures in his Fort Collins and Denver surgical centers, Dr. Paul Cutarelli is also one of the most experienced surgeons in Colorado. In addition to Cross-Linking and Keratoconus treatment, Dr. Cutarelli specializes in cornea treatment, cataract surgery, lens implants and LASIK Surgery in Denver and Fort Collins.
Benefits of Collagen Cross-Linking:
- Slows or stops progressive keratoconus
- Requires only a single one-hour treatment
- No injections
- No stitches
- No incisions
- Rapid recovery
Collagen Cross-Linking Candidates Must:
- Be at least 14 years old
- Have a diagnosis of progressive keratoconus or post-LASIK/post-LASEK corneal ectasia
- Have corneal thickness greater than 300 micrometers where thinnest
- Not be pregnant
- Be able to leave your contacts out for at least four weeks before and after treatment
What To Expect From The Cross-Linking Procedure
In order to treat your keratoconus with cross-linking you must come in for an initial consultation. As with any medical procedure, we will want to evaluate your vision and health to determine if you’re a good candidate for corneal cross-linking. The thickness of your cornea is a large determining factor on whether you can receive this treatment, we’ll also want to perform a corneal topography of your cornea to determine the level of your eye condition.
Once we have determined you are a candidate for cross-linking, your procedure will be scheduled. The cross-linking procedure typically takes 60-90 minutes.
How is collagen cross-linking performed?
After numbing drops are placed in each eye to ensure patient comfort, the corneal epithelium is saturated in riboflavin solution eye drops for about thirty minutes. Special keratoconus or ectasia cases may require removal of superficial corneal epithelial cells before saturation. After riboflavin has been added, the eye is illuminated with ultraviolet (UV) light for 5-30 minutes depending on equipment used and patient condition.
How does collagen cross-linking work?
When ultraviolet light reacts with riboflavin on the corneal surface, the result is bond creation between collagen fibers. Every crosslink created makes the cornea stronger. Strengthening the cornea in this way slows, and for some patients stops, progressive keratoconus and corneal ectasia.