Intacs corneal implants are an FDA-approved option for the keratoconus patient that is in-between contact lenses and a corneal transplant!

What are Keratoconus Symptoms

Keratoconus is a progressive eye disease that induces cornea thinning, which is the clear front surface of the eye. As keratoconus progresses, vision quality slowly diminishes to a point where neither glasses nor contact lenses are suitable options for vision correction.
Historically, a corneal transplant used to be the only solution – until Intacs!

As a matter of fact, many patients are actually unaware they suffer from the condition. As mentioned above, early symptoms include only slight blurring while the vision progressively deteriorates.

Other symptoms include:

  • Poor night vision
  • Halos and glare around bright lights
  • Headaches due to eye pain
  • Eye irritation
  • Light sensitivity
  • Sudden clouding of your vision

How do Intacs Corneal Implants Work

As a solution for treating nearsightedness, Intacs surgery corrects your vision by flattening the cornea. This will refocus light rays and treat your vision problems.

On the other hand, Intacs for keratoconus works differently. In the case of keratoconus treatments, the cornea’s steep part gets flattened, reducing vision distortions as a result.
Intacs are made from biocompatible materials meaning there’s very little risk of adverse effects that may stem from the material’s nature.

Intacs corneal surgery is a viable option for people whose eyes simply can’t tolerate contact lenses and people who are candidates for a corneal transplant. For them, Intacs corneal implants may serve as an outstanding option for stabilizing the cornea, improving eyesight, and even eliminating the need for a complete corneal transplant.

Intacs corneal implants are used for correcting vision issues such as astigmatism and nearshightedness due to keratoconus, in cases where glasses and contacts no longer present an option.

Intacs corneal implants are FDA-approved for combating keratoconus under an HDE or a Humanitarian Device Exemption.

When you opt for Intacs surgery, you will experience the following benefits:

  • A fast and painless procedure: After your eye surgeon has chosen the appropriate Intac thickness and size, they will perform the surgery that lasts for only about 15 minutes for each eye.
  • Comfortable: The Intacs are placed at the cornea’s periphery, which means patients won’t feel them and others won’t see them.
  • Immediate results: Improvements in your vision can be experienced almost immediately post-op.
  • Little to no downtime: Following Intacs surgery, most patients can return to their everyday activities within a few days.
  • Effective and safe procedure: Intacs have an impeccable safety record and success rate.
  • Removable/replaceable: These treatment solutions can be removed and/or replaced later with different measurements if the patient experiences vision changes. Replacements won’t affect vision results, nor will they induce any complications. 
  • They can be an option for cornea transplants: Intacs may help eliminate the need for more invasive procedures.

Prior to undergoing Keratoconus treatment, the condition is usually diagnosed with a slit-map examination of the central corneal thinning. In most cases, early stages are detected through computerized videokeratography.

Furthermore, experts may also use ultrasound pachymetry in order to measure the thinnest cornea areas.

The latest algorithms may also help detect subclinical, forme fruste, and/or suspected keratoconus cases.

Typically Intacs keratoconus treatment will cost around $2,000 for each eye, which is less than the costs of corneal transplants. 


As mentioned already above, Intacs are also far less invasive than corneal transplants, with a rather impressive success rate as well.


A review from 2001 looked at Intacs patients who corrected near-sightedness with the procedure. A year after surgery, 74% of the treated eyes had 20/20 vision or better, while nearly 97% had 20/40 or better vision. 


For keratoconus, nearly half of patients achieved 20/40 vision following surgery, according to a 2005 study.


Even though the procedure is safe, it does come with associated risks and may cause complications.

In rare cases, infections, night vision problems, and blurry vision may occur.

If you are considering having Intacs surgery, you can rest assured that you’re in the right hands with Diamond Vision. Our highly trained staff with decades of experience in the field of vision correction know just how important it is for you to get your clear vision and your freedom back with it.

We have been performing this safe procedure for years, meaning that we have the necessary practical experience to address any problem, ensuring that your treatment will go as smoothly as possible.

To qualify as a “good” candidate for Intacs surgery, you must be:

  • At least 21 years old
  • Have a stable prescription that’s no more than 1.0 of astigmatism and no more than -3.0 diopters of myopia.

Please note that pregnant women probably shouldn’t consider Intacs during pregnancy. Also, people who are taking certain medications might want to postpone their treatment as well.

Don’t forget, it’s vital to consult with a professional so the whether
Intacs are right for you.

To treat nearsightedness, Intacs surgery flattens the cornea to ample your vision and refocus light rays. In the case of keratoconus treatment, Intacs flatten the cornea’s steep part to reduce distortions in your vision.


Your surgeon will create a tiny tunnel between the corneal stroma layers outside the central optical zone and then inserts the right ring thickness.

What to Expect from Keratoconus Treatment

Intacs surgery is a very effective way to help you restore your vision. Still, unfortunately, it won’t be able to halt keratoconus progression that’s induced by the weakening of collagen (or the structural protein) found in the corneal tissue.

To address this problem, surgeons will use CXL or corneal cross-linking that can help restore the strength of corneal collagen fibers. For the best results, surgeons often use Intacs combined with CXL.


Following Intacs surgery, you may experience sharper vision after only one day, but you may need to take a few days to enable proper eye healing.

Also, you might need to visit your surgeon after surgery a couple of times so they can check that everything’s going well with your eyes.

Check out our New York, Atlanta, and Paramus offices to learn more about Intacs and your vision correction options. Take the first step towards visual freedom and a life without glasses and contacts.