Keratoconus Patient Education

Corneal Collagen Crosslinking FAQs

What is Corneal Collagen Crosslinking?

Corneal Collagen Crosslinking (CXL) is a relatively pain free procedure that is performed to slow or stop the progression of Keratoconus. It uses special eye drops called Riboflavin and an advanced form of UV light to make your cornea stronger.

Corneal Collagen Crosslinking is a procedure performed to slow or stop the progression of Keratoconus.

Is Crosslinking a cure for Keratoconus or Ectasia?

Currently, there is not a cure for Keratoconus or ectasia. Crosslinking slows or halts the progression of the disease to prevent the cornea from becoming more irregular. Often times, a patient will utilize various options for improving vision after Crosslinking such as contact lenses or implanted devices known as Intacs®.

Who is a candidate for Crosslinking?

Patients that are good candidates for Crosslinking:

  • Have been diagnosed with worsening Keratoconus or Ectasia
  • Do not have cornea scarring
  • Do not have too thin, steep or flat corneas
  • Are not pregnant or breastfeeding

The Corneal Collagen Crosslinking procedure normally takes 45 minutes.

How long does the Crosslinking procedure last?

Based on study results of over a decade, it appears that the strengthening effects may be permanent. In rare situations, the procedure can be repeated if advised by your physician.

How long does the Crosslinking procedure take to perform?

The procedure normally takes 45 minutes and you will be in the center for approximately 2 hours on the day of your procedure.

Is Crosslinking FDA approved?

Although Crosslinking is broadly approved outside of the United States and has been since 2007, it is currently under study status in the United States and is not yet FDA approved. When Crosslinking is performed in the U. S., it is either part of an FDA trial or is done with an off-label status. Off-label refers to a procedure or device that is performed at the discretion of the surgeon and with the full consent of the patient, including a comprehensive discussion of risks, benefits and alternatives to the proposed treatment.