Corneal cross-linking is a recently FDA-approved treatment for keratoconus that works by strengthening natural bonds between corneal collagen fibers. Corneal cross-linking is a minimally invasive outpatient surgical procedure. The treatment results in a reduction of the risk of progressive weakening associated with keratoconus and post-LASIK ectasia. This has been shown to delay or stop the progression of keratoconus. The effects of the treatment appear to last many years and there is some evidence that the strengthening effect may be permanent. The goal of the treatment is to prevent further decline in vision or need for corneal transplantation, but it does not improve uncorrected vision. Glasses or contact lenses will still be needed following the treatment.


The procedure is performed after applying numbing (anesthetic) eye drops to the eye surface. The outer layer of the cornea (corneal epithelium) is then prepared for the procedure. Riboflavin (Vitamin B2) drops are used to saturate the cornea. The riboflavin is then activated by ultraviolet light. The entire procedure takes about an hour and a half.


In 1998, doctors in Germany first introduced corneal cross-linking. In April 2016 the United States approved the treatment device and riboflavin formulations. It is covered by many insurance policies, though patients may have out of pocket expenses. Wang Vision 3D Cataract & LASIK Center was among the sites participating in one of the FDA clinical trials for this treatment device. Dr. Ming Wang of Wang Vision 3D Cataract & LASIK Center, Nashville, TN, announced on 11/8/2012 that he performed the state's first cross-linking procedure as part of this trial. Tennessee’s first FDA-approved corneal cross-linking procedure was performed on 12/15/2016 at Wang Vision.



Learn more about Intacs® for keratoconus at Wang Vision 3D Cataract and LASIK Center.

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