Intacs corneal implants for myopia and keratoconus
Among various treatments for keratoconus, Intacs corneal inserts or implants are special that they insert two tiny and clear pieces of plastic polymer (intacs) into the cornea. First approved for mild myopia treatment, the Intacs implants now have been approved to be described as corneal implants for keratoconus treatment, rather than prescription inserts. Corneal implants are designed for long-term vision correction and have received satisfying results from clinical trials and practices.
An evaluation of good candidates for Intacs surgery
Intacs can be replaced as the eye’s prescription changes due to keratoconus progression. However, good candidates for Intacs should have stable vision or stable prescription. Those patients under 21 are not eligible for corneal ring implantation, because they may experience frequent changes in their glasses and contact lenses prescriptions.
Some details during the surgery
An Intacs procedure only takes about 15 minutes so that it is an outpatient procedure. During the procedure, the surgeon creates a tunnel between layers of the corneal stroma and chooses Intacs with a proper ring thickness. Then the Intacs will be inserted into the tunnel. These Intacs will flatten the steep part of the cornea to reduce vision distortions. The thicker the ring in Intacs, the higher vision correction can be achieved. The material of Intacs is same with that in intraocular lenses, so adverse effects are rare.
Postoperative recovery and different visual outcomes
Patients after the procedure will neither feel the ring segments nor experience any discomfort. They need several days’ relaxation for good healing. Patients will get different results from Intacs implants depending on varying severities of keratoconus, although Intacs are very effective in flattering the cone. Those with mild keratoconus can get nearly perfect vision correction, while patients with moderate or severe keratoconus may also need prescription glasses, soft lenses or GP lenses for additional vision correction. Some patients even need to take a delayed corneal transplant. In addition, Intacs are incompetent of dealing with keratoconus progression caused by a weakening of surface eye tissues.
Clinical results prove Intacs’ effectiveness for keratoconus treatment
Intacs are safe and have received promising clinical results. Studies show that Intacs help about a half of keratoconus patients restore 20/40 uncorrected vision. There is also evidence showing that Intacs are effective in treating keratoconus patients with irregular astigmatism and single segment Intacs are more effective than double segment Intacs.
Most myopic patients can also receive satisfactory vision correction
Intacs correct myopia by flattening the cornea to refocus light. Clinical trials report that Intacs help more than 94% of myopic people restore 20/40 vision, although nearly 39% of the total chose to remove the implants due various reasons. There are no serious complications caused by Intacs implants.
Intacs’ effectiveness in treating keratoconus and myopia has helped it gain much popularity among a large number of patients. It is important to know clearly the exact position of this treatment. In a word, Intacs corneal implant is in-between contact lenses and a corneal transplant. Most people know that keratoconus is a progressive eye disease whose vision disorders can be offset simply by prescription eyewear. The problem is that Rx eyewear products become an unsatisfactory solution as keratoconus advances. Before the development of Intacs corneal inserts, the right solution was corneal transplant. With the availability of Intacs surgery, the need for corneal transplant can be deferred.
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