Cost of corneal cross linking surgery for keratoconus

Cost of corneal cross linking surgery for keratoconus stabilization

Have you had problems with your eyesight before? For example, issues such as  blurring or seeing shadows or flashes of light? Keratoconus is a common eye condition that develops slowly and progressively over time , which may cause symptoms similar to those mentioned. In this article we will discuss  what keratoconus is and how does the condition develop, what are the symptoms and how to treat them.

Corneal cross linking surgery for keratoconus stabilization 

Corneal collagen cross linking is a process of strengthening and increasing the molecular  bridges that hold the corneal layers together, therefore decreasing the chances of a bulge. It is done by  removing  of the outer layer of the cornea ( the epithelium) which self regenerates, te application of Riboflavin eyedrops to penetrate into the corneal tissues, and finally  direct accurately and precisely measured doses of ultraviolet radiation onto the eye.  

What is the cost of corneal cross linking for keratoconus ? 

When does the vision improve after the corneal stabilization process?  

What is the  keratoconus?

Keratoconus is a common eye diseases where the cornea, which has a natural smooth spherical  shape, is weakened, hence bulges to an irregular or conical shape.  this irregular surface affects the way the entering light is refracted in the eye causing it to gather at multiple focus points on the retina. This leads blurring of vision and  haloes around light. Keratoconus occurs in one or both eyes and develops slowly and progressively and is common around puberty in people aged 10 to 25 or early 20s, but recent studies have shown that keratoconus can develop at any age. 

What are the symptoms of keratoconus?

The shape of the cornea changes to an irregular or conical shape, this significantly affects vision and causes blurring which is the most important symptom..

Here are some of the most important symptoms in a keratoconus patient:

  • Seeing  dark black shadows
  • Intolerance or  high sensitivity to light
  • Blurred vision
  • In advanced cases of keratoconus, contact lenses become uncomfortable and less effective where the shape of the cornea becomes like a cone and is clinically clearly visible.
  • Swelling and redness of the eye
  • Continuous and frequent change in the glasses prescription

What are the causes of keratoconus?

There is no specific or obvious cause of keratoconus, but scientific research has been conducted to find out the reasons and relations of keratoconus. Some scientists believe that the keratoconus is due to genetic and hereditary conditions such as Down syndrome, and congenital Lebers amaurosis , this highlights the importance of asking about family history.

What are the complications of keratoconus?

Some complications may occur as a result of progression of keratoconus; these include sudden painful clouding of vision, a condition known as hydrops

How is keratoconus diagnosed?

In order to diagnose the keratoconus, many different tests can be performed. We  must measure the curvature of the cornea, its steepness, its thickness, and this can be done by taking detailed computerized topographic images of the cornea, analyzing them and correlating them to clinical findings.

Who are the patients that are considered candidates for corneal cross linking?

Corneal cross linking  is more effective in the early or moderate cases , especially before the cornea becomes clinically conical, and  before marked visual deterioration.  The most suitable patients for the procedure are

  • Who suffer significantly from corneal ulcers and which antibiotics no longer effective, as some studies have found that the process contributes significantly to the treatment of infections
  • People who need to undergo other vision corrections such as surface laser surgery in order to strengthen the surface of the cornea before the other operation

Pre-operative preparation

Before the operation, the doctor diagnoses keratoconus disease through some important tests, the most famous of which is “computerized topographical mapping the cornea ” or pentacam. the surface of the cornea is photographed and analyzed using the state of the art technology and provides detailed images of the thickness, curvature, shape and deviations of the cornea

What are the operative steps?

The doctor begins to numb the eye through anesthetic eye drops, waits for a few minutes until the full effect of anesthesia takes place. He begins to apply drops of riboflavin eyedrops (vitamin B2) which converts tryptophan into niacin, an amino acid that maintains healthy eyes, applying these drops every two minutes for about half an hour. This is followed by exposure to precisely controlled doses of ultraviolet light.

When does the vision improve after corneal cross linking?

After the end of the operation the doctor prescribes antibiotic and steroid drops and therapeutic contact lenses are applied for about five days after the operation, it is very important to consult your  doctor when any complications or abnormal symptoms appear. 

Cost of corneal cross linking

Cross linking  is performed at a cost ranging from one place to another, because there are several factors on which the cost depends, including the country in which the procedure is performed, the doctor’s experience and the hospital facilities, the type of technology used and the condition of the patient.

Other treatments for keratoconus

Hard contact lenses

They are an alternative to glasses and soft lenses,  because these two methods do not provide the visual sharpness required in the case of keratoconus.   Hard contact lenses modify the shape of the cornea and hence  improve vision.

Corneal transplantation-keratoplasty

Corneal transplantation in Egypt is also known as keratoplasty, which is a surgical procedure to replace part or the entire diseased cornea with other corneal tissue from a donor. This  helps restore vision and reduce pain, and works to restore the shape of the damaged cornea.

Corneal transplantation is used for a number of reasons, including:

Keratoconus, corneal ulceration, scarring thinning or swelling of the cornea.

PRK surface laser ablation process

PRK is a type of refractive surgery in which eximer lasers are used to treat vision problems caused by refractive errors and is sometimes used in the treatment of keratoconus, but the cross linking procedure step must be done first in this case.

At Optimistic Clinics there is a leading group of highly trained and experienced ophthalmologists covering all ophthalmological subspecialties. Our  main aim  is to accurately diagnose the patient’s condition and choose to the appropriate center according to the available facilities and equipment needed for the diagnosis and treatment of his  condition aiming to provide the best tailored service without siding with a specific procedure or device.

Dr. Ashraf Soliman is one of the most renowned ophthalmologists in Egypt and is a consultant specializing in corneal, cataract and glaucoma surgeries and refractive and  laser vision correction

عن الطبيب

أستاذ طب و جراحة العيون م. طب عين شمس أستشاري جراحات تصحيح عيوب الابصار و المياه البيضاء و القرنية عضو الجمعية الامريكية لعلاج العيون و تصحيح العيون بالليزر زميل المجلس العالمي لجراحة و طب العيون زميل الكلية الملكية لطب و جراحات العيون بأنجلترا

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About the doctor

A consultant specializing in corneal, cataract and Glaucoma Surgery and Refractive surgery in Egypt, Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology – Ain Shams University, Consultant cornea, cataract, and Glaucoma Surgery and Refractive Surgery, Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow, UK.

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