What Keratoconus treatments do we offer?

Collagen Cross-Linking (CXL), Intacs, mini-scleral contact lenses

Keratoconus is a condition that affects the cornea, the thin globe-like coating over the eye. For some individuals, this coating thins enough that it begins to bulge, creating a cone shape. It's unclear why some develop keratoconus, but it usually affects both eyes at a young age and may be progressive.

Over time, the cornea becomes more and more unstable as the underlying structure weakens, making simple vision correction impossible. Current keratoconus treatments in Birmingham such as collagen cross-linking (CXL), Intacs and mini-scleral contact lenses involve stabilizing the cornea to make vision correction more effective.

Collagen Cross-Linking (CXL)There is hope!

What is CXL?

Collagen Cross-Linking (CXL) is a surgical procedure using riboflavin, known also as vitamin B2, and a special light to strengthen (cross-link) the cornea and prevent bulging. This procedure does not reverse the condition, just prevent its progression. Glasses or contacts correct vision once the cornea stabilizes.

Who is a Good Candidate for CXL?

The ideal patient is under the age of 40 and over the age of 14. The patient should also be in otherwise good health.

What Can You Expect for CXL?

The procedure is done one eye at a time and is painless with few risks of complications. For the first few months, vision may change regularly but should eventually stabilize. Patients often feel some mild discomfort for the first few hours after surgery.

Is it FDA approved?

Yes, it was FDA approved in 2016.  However, it is still NOT covered by insurance.

How effective is CXL?

Studies have shown CXL to be over 90% effective to slowing progression of keratoconus.

Why choose Dr. Choi for CXL?

Although CXL has only been approved by the FDA recently, Dr. Choi has been doing CXL for years.  He was the first to perform CXL in Alabama – years before any other ophthalmologists.  Simply put: he has years of more experience compared to any other eye surgeon in the state.

Intacsintra-corneal segment rings

Although some insurance companies cover the surgical fee for intacs surgery, they usually do NOT cover the laser fee associated with it nor the material (ring segments).

What is Intacs?
Intacs is an insert that flattens the cone. The surgeon embeds one or more of these tiny ring segments into the cornea to reduce vision distortion. This treatment option effectively slows the progression of keratoconus but does not stop it. It does not address the underlying weakening structure that is causing the bulging. After the surgery, most patients with moderate to advanced keratoconus will require some kind of vision correction.
Who is a Good Candidate for Intacs?
It depends on a number of factors. This procedure isn't right for everyone. The doctor will examine your eyes and decide if Intacs will improve your vision or if another treatment is the better choice.
Are There Risks with Intacs?

Most people tolerate this procedure well. The material used for the inserts is biocompatible and used for other procedures such as cataract surgery. Some patients experience eye irritation and abnormal blood vessel growth, but this is rare. The inserts may be removed if they cause problems, though.

How Long Does Intacs Take to Implant?
The procedure takes just 15 minutes and there is no recovery time necessary. You might want to rest for the remainder of the day, though.
What are Mini-Scleral Contact Lenses?
Mini-scleral contact lenses offer a nonsurgical treatment option for those with keratoconus. These gas-permeable lenses vault over the corneal surface instead of just a small portion of it like traditional lenses. Pretty much anyone is a good candidate for mini-scleral contacts as long as they tolerate contacts well, especially if the condition is advanced. They also offer some interesting cosmetic options for anyone looking to see better and make a fashion statement.

Real Results From Real People...

See our reviews
I kept weighing the price of the surgery with the cost of my contact lenses and thought I was saving money. When I finally had laser correction surgery done I could see things I had never even noticed before. Not only did my vision improve but my life improved as well.

My only regret is that I wish I had done it sooner, I think of all
of these things I may have missed over the years.
Cynthia San Francisco, CA