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Crosslinking

Keratoconus is the consequence of weakening of collagen lamellae resulting in bulging of the cornea to form a cone. Crosslinking is used to strengthen and create new chemical collagen bonds in the stroma by a polymerization reaction. Corneal cross linking was introduced in 2006 and has become a successful treatment for stopping progressive ectatic diseases such as keratoconus and pellucid marginal degeneration. The earlier keratoconus is detected the more successful cross linking.

Crosslinking is a simple procedure lasting approximately 30 min per eye. During cross linking local anesthetic drops are applied to the eyes followed by the gentle removal of the patient’s corneal epithelium. Thereafter Riboflavin (vitamin B2) drops are applied to the eye which soaks into the cornea. UVA light is then used to activate the riboflavin. A bandage lens is placed on the eye after the procedure to aid in the healing process. The patient may go home directly after the procedure. A compulsory post op visit will be done the day after the procedure. The patient will be informed thereafter about future consultations in particular corneal topography scans to demonstrate stability.

The aim of crosslinking is to stabilize progressive keratoconus thereby preventing frequent spectacle changes and most importantly preventing   corneal transplants.Most patients will still require spectacles or contact lenses after crosslinking but it is common to find an improvement in the refractive errors and in some cases an improvement in best corrected spectacle or contact lens visual acuity.

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Procedures