Surgical treatment for keratoconus is usually avoided until someones vision has significantly deteriorated, or contact lenses have become too uncomfortable for them to wear. There are five types of surgical keratoconus treatment.
This is a minimally invasive procedure designed to strengthen the cornea. It works best during the early phase of keratoconus and can slow or even stop the misshaping of the cornea.
The procedure works by using specially formulated vitamin B2 eyedrops which – under ultraviolet light – create new, strengthening bonds between collagen fibres in the cornea.
The aim of this combined procedure is two-fold: Firstly to stabilise the condition and stop keratoconus getting worse; and secondly to reshape the surface of the cornea to improve vision.
These small, soft contact lenses are surgically inserted inside the eye through a small incision. While intraocular contact lenses can be of benefit to patients who are having difficulty wearing normal contact lenses, the procedure is considered invasive so not used often.
Intacs are clear, arc-shaped implants. They are surgically positioned into the cornea to reshape the surface of the eye so that vision is improved. However, this minimally invasive surgical procedure hasn’t given reliable results.
A corneal transplant is a highly invasive surgical procedure. Indeed, it involves grafting a donated cornea onto a patients own cornea.
However, a corneal transplant does not restore perfect vision. In fact, most patients will still need glasses or contact lenses.
Fewer than 5% of people with keratoconus need to get a corneal transplant.