Intacs Corneal Implants are mainly used for the treatment of Keratoconus. Keratoconusis a degenerative disorder of the eye in which the cornea thins and becomes a more conical shape rather than the normal gradual curve. The disease can progress to a point where contact lenses or glasses no longer become a useful form of vision correction.
Intacs Corneal Implants are a step that is between contact lenses and a corneal transplant. They were originally approved by the FDA in 1999 for mild myopia and were granted a Humanitarian Device Exemption in 2004, also by the FDA, due to Intacs’ safety record. In 2006 the FDA declared that Intacs implants were therapeutic devices that could be described as implants rather than inserts.
Intacs Corneal Implants are designed for long term vision correction with numerous benefits such as:
- It is an outpatient procedure
- The procedure is less invasive than a corneal transplant
- Can be removed if your prescription changes, or if it needs to be removed for other reasons.
- Takes about 15 minutes per eye
- Recovery time can take anywhere from a few days to a few months
Even though it is an outpatient procedure, there should be someone else driving you home as there we anesthetizing drops in your eye and you will be given a mild sedative. Intacs also do not require maintenance once they are placed in the cornea.
Intacs is can even be used for severe nearsightedness on its own or in conjunction with the use of LASIK surgery.
There are a few things that can make you a candidate for Intacs such as an inability to have adequate vision correction with glasses for contacts and a corneal transplant is the only option to improve your vision, plus you have to be 21 years old or older. Some people might still need to use glasses after having Intacs implanted as Intacs does not correct presbyopia, and it is not recommended to wear contact lenses on an eye with an Intacs implant.
As with any procedure there are a few things that would prevent you from being able to receive Intacts: http://www.triadeye.com/intacs/
- Autoimmune or immunodeficiency disease: The body would attack the site of the implant or cause even more problems or with lowered immune response.
- Taking prescription medication that could affect the healing of the cornea.
- Pregnant or nursing
- Extensive thinning of the cornea due to Keratoconus.
The insertion of the Intacs causes the cornea to flatten. The cornea’s main function is to bend light and focusing the light that goes into the eye.
If the cornea has too much curvature, such as the case with Keratoconus or nearsightedness, then it does not focus the light properly and objects at a distance can appear fuzzy.
In the United States clinical studies: 97% of people with Intacs were able to see 20/40 or better after their procedure, 74% saw 20/20 or better with 20/20 being the standard for perfect vision and 53% were able to see 20/16, which is better than perfect vision.
As with any procedure there is always a possibility of complications. The complications with Intacs can be glare, night vision difficulties, over-correction or under-correction and haloes. But complications with Intacs are low, only being around four to six percent and if there are any complications that necessitates the removal of the implants, Intacs and be removed, especially if the prescription of the eye changes at a later date.
If you wish to have the Intacs Corneal Implant, be sure to find an Opthalmologist who is able to do the procedure as they are able to perform eye surgery, unlike Optometrists and Opticians.