Intacs change the shape of the cornea, and is primarily used in the treatment of corneal thinning disorders such as keratoconus, pellucid marginal degeneration, and ectasia occuring following refractive surgery. However, patients with low myopia and astigmatism who for some reason do not qualify for laser vision correction, could also benefit from Intacs.
Intacs® segments are designed to be placed in the periphery of the cornea, at approximately two-thirds depth, and are surgically inserted through a small radial incision in the corneal stroma. The Intacs® are designed to allow removal or replacement.
What is the process?
On your day of surgery, you can expect to be at the Surgical Centre for approximately 1.5 hour. INTACS are predominantly prescribed for keratoconus, post-lasik ectasia and other corneal thinning disorders. For further information see www.intacsforkeratoconus.com.
You will then receive a topical anesthetic. An eyelid speculum is used to hold your eyelids open, preventing you from blinking.
A suction ring is placed on the eye to keep it from moving while the channels are being prepared in your cornea. Intacs channels are now routinely made using the Intralase femtosecond laser. Your vision at that time should become dim or completely black. This is normal.
Next, the ring segments are introduced into the thickness of the cornea, and one stitch is placed. This stitch is typically removed 1-2 months after the procedure.
What else should I know?
Although topical anesthetic drops are given prior to surgery, some people will experience discomfort or slight pressure when the eyelid speculum is positioned and again when the holding device, or suction ring is applied.
On your day of INTACS you will be advised to wear comfortable clothing such as denim or cottons. Please do not wear clothing with a lot of fibers. Please do not use makeup, lotions and perfumes on the day of your surgery as these may increase the risk of infection after INTACS.
Depending on your type of occupation, you may need to take one to several days off work. You should consider this possibility when scheduling surgery.
What are the risks?
Unlike laser surgery, INTACS never intrude into the most important part of the cornea, the central optical zone. So, should your sight change over time, should technology improve or should you simply change your mind, Intacs can be removed safely and, in most cases, the effect reversed.
But, of course, any surgical procedure€even one as simple as the insertion of Intacs has some risk. Extensive clinical studies in the U.S. have shown that infection, which is a risk in any surgical procedure, occurred less than 0.5 % of the time with lntacs. In these cases, the patients returned to the level of corrected vision they had prior to the procedure. Some patients experienced visual symptoms after the procedure, such as difficulty with night vision, glare, blurry vision, halos, double vision and fluctuating distance vision. If the results of the procedure are not satisfactory, you may need to exchange your INTACS for another size or have them removed. Your doctor will discuss the potential benefits and risks in detail.
Postoperative discomfort is rare with INTACS. Discomfort after INTACS, if present, may last for 24-36 hrs. In patients with corneal thinning conditions, there will be postoperative visual fluctuation which may last up to 6 months after surgery.
Our new approach to patients with keratoconus involves the possibility of performing Intacs surgery, followed by collagen cross-linking to further strengthen the cornea.