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Collagen Cross-Linking

As of April 2016, the FDA approved the first Collagen Cross-Linking system in the United States. But what does this mean for our patients with keratonocus?


Patients with keratonocus will for the first time have access to an FDA approved procedure to prevent the progression of keratonocus. This procedure has been shown to be safe and effective, and has been widely practiced for many years throughout most of the modern world.

What are some of the main goals of the procedure?

  • To stop the progression of the disease

  • To allow continued use of glasses or contact lenses to achieve functional vision.

Will I see better after the procedure?

In certain cases, patients may see a mild improvement in their vision. This outcome is not typical, and is not the primary purpose of the procedure. The purpose is to halt the progression of the disease and to prevent the need for corneal transplantation in the future.

How does the Collagen Cross-Linking work?

The cornea is composed of sheets of collagen. In patients with keratoconus the collagen lacks sufficient tensile strength, therefore it is prone to changing shape over time. The normal cornea is round like a sphere. The result of weak collagen is the continued progression of keratoconus and the formation of a steeper cone. This creates high levels of astigmatism, scarring, and blurry vision.

Less cross-linking (weaker)

More cross-linking (stronger)

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