Another established treatment for keratoconus is Intacs©.
Intacs Inserts are a medical device approved by the FDA for the correction of 1.00 to 3.00 diopters of myopia (nearsighted, shortsighted) and virtually no astigmatism. Intacs inserts are the only refractive surgery procedure that adds structural rigidity/integrity to the cornea. This unique attribute made Intacs an ideal treatment for keratoconus.
Intacs are clear small semicircular plastic (PMMA) rings of various thickness that are inserted within the cornea at its mid to outer edges. Insertions of these rings flatten the central area of the cornea and correct myopic refractive error. A major advantage of Intacs is that no tissue is removed and there is no ablation or incision across the visual axis. Intacs are tiny plastic rings surgically added to the cornea.
Intacs surgery is not truly reversible because of the incision, but the Intacs can be completely removed or exchanged for a different size.
Intacs inserts cannot be felt by the patient and are no more visible than a contact lens. After insertion and healing, Intacs require no maintenance. The placement of Intacs inserts remodels and reinforces the cornea, eliminating some or all of the irregularities caused by keratoconus.
Follow-up visits will be required to monitor the healing process and to evaluate the visual benefits of the procedure. Even after a successful Intacs procedure for keratoconus, glasses or contacts may still be required.
However, Intacs have been shown to improve vision and reduce or stop the progression of keratoconus, thereby saving the patient from needing PKP. Intacs have been approved for the treatment of keratoconus by the FDA as a humanitarian use device (HUD) under a humanitarian device exemption (HDE).
Humanitarian use devices (HUDs) are medical devices specially designated by the FDA for use in the treatment of fewer than 4000 patients per year with rare medical conditions.
Corneal cross-linking treatments managed by our keratoconus specialist in Dubai can be combined with Intacs to flatten the keratoconus cone even more than with Intacs alone. In these cases, corneal cross-linking treatments stabilize keratoconus from getting worse as well as help the Intacs reverse the keratoconus steepening that had already occurred.