The Intacs® procedure is a minimally invasive surgical procedure for patients with keratoconus to stabilize the disease, potentially improve vision and enable patients to return to comfortable contact lens wear. Intacs® implants are thin, clear, semi-circular plastic rings which are inserted into the mid-layers of the cornea (corneal stroma). When inserted into a cornea with keratoconus, they work to flatten the cornea, which alters the shape and location of the cone. The placement of Intacs® remodels and reinforces the cornea, helping to reduce irregularities caused by keratoconus and provide more long-term stability. This can improve uncorrected vision; however, depending on the severity of keratoconus, glasses or contact lenses are often still needed for functional vision.


The procedure is performed after applying numbing (anesthetic) eye drops to the eye surface. A femtosecond laser is used to create small channels in the cornea with minute precision. The laser-assisted procedure is required in eyes with thinning due to keratoconus, rather than the traditional manual instruments for the procedure which used a blade. The segment or segments are then inserted into the cornea. Depending on the corneal shape, severity of the disease, and refractive error, one segment or two segments may be implanted.



Intacs® were approved under a Humanitarian Device Exemption (HDE) by the FDA in 2004, allowing Intacs® to be used for treating keratoconus. Humanitarian Use Devices (HUDs) are medical devices which have been designated by the FDA for use in the treatment of rare medical conditions (when fewer then 4000 procedures are performed per year). Dr. Ming Wang of Wang Vision 3D Cataract & LASIK Center, Nashville, TN, performed Tennessee's first femtosecond laser-assisted Intacs® procedure on May 20, 2004. Dr Wang was also the first surgeon in the United States to perform an Intacs® procedure using the newly FDA-approved expanded range for more severe keratoconus on April 30, 2010. Because the procedure is FDA approved, it is often covered in part by medical insurance.


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

Additional information