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Intra Corneal Ring Implantation

Keratoconus disease leads to thinning of the cornea and, accordingly, its irregular conicality. The gradual tapering of the cornea both hinders lens wearing and leads to extreme astigmatism. Intracorneal ring implantation is performed to prevent corneal coneization. Contact lenses are preferred in people whose progression of keratoconus has stopped.

Because the vision of many patients can be corrected with contact lenses. However, there are also patients who cannot use contact lenses. In these patients, it is important whether they have night vision problems. Patients should not have night vision problems in order to use the ring.

One of the most important parts of the eye is the cornea layer. Keratoconus, on the other hand, causes the cornea, which already has a certain slope, to gradually cone. This leads to a decrease in vision, as well as a short-term increase in visual disturbances. Keratoconus patients change their eyeglasses at almost every eye examination. When keratoconus is not treated, severe structural deformity occurs in the cornea. In such cases, keratoplasty surgery is required because other treatment methods are not effective.

How Is Implantation Made?

After a detailed examination, it is determined how many rings will be placed in the eyes of the patients who are decided to have intracorneal ring implantation. Depending on the condition of the disease, it is possible to place one or two intracorneal rings.

Topical anesthesia is used to prevent any discomfort during the application. After the corneal tunnel is opened, the ring is placed in the area determined during the planning phase. Then, drops containing antibiotics are applied to prevent the area from becoming inflamed. After it is placed in the ring, patients should use the drop given for about 20 days. In the applications made with the intralase technique, there is no need to put stitches on the cornea. Also, the eye does not need to be closed in any way.

How Is Keratoconus Treated?

Intracorneal ring placement alone is not sufficient for the treatment of progressive keratoconus disease. In order to stop the progression, a combined treatment with a method called cross-linking should be applied. Intracorneal ring implantation is effective in moderate keratoconus disorders below K 60D. Patients should not wear contact lenses and should not have any opacity in the central cornea.

Corneal Crosslinking

More successful outcomes are obtained when corneal crosslinking is combined with intra-corneal ring implantation. The cross-links between the corneal fibers are strengthened during this process. The cornea becomes more resistant due to the increase of cross fibers, which prevents tapering. To encourage the development of cross fibers, liquid riboflavin is first administered to the cornea for a length of time.

After that, treatment of ultraviolet A ensures the creation of cross-links. The corneal crosslinking treatment can stop the progression of keratoconus. The patient's vision is significantly improved after intracorneal ring implantation. The corneal crosslinking process used in this application is extremely safe and does not damage the retina or any other eye tissues, such as the macula.

Post Corneal Ring Implantation

Patients who have intracorneal rings implanted see better both with and without glasses afterward. But as a result of corneal coneization, the cornea becomes more convex and the keratometry values decrease. Following the treatment, patients who were previously unable to wear contact lenses are now allowed to do so. The intracorneal ring by itself cannot stop the progression of keratoconus. However, keratoplasty surgery can significantly slow it down or completely stop it from happening. Therefore, patients should have combination corneal ring implantation and cross-linking treatment in order to achieve a long-lasting effect.

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