39_keraflex

Keraflex for keratoconus

Keraflex treatment for keratoconus

Keratoconus is an alteration of the curvature of the cornea, which instead of its normal dome-shape becomes cone-shaped. Keratoconus induces irregular astigmatism, often associated with nearsightedness.

More info on keratoconus

What is Keraflex?

The Keraflex procedure embodies one of the most innovative and promising technique for keratoconus treatment.

It is a non-incisional procedure for refractive correction, performed in combination with a transepithelial corneal cross-linking (C3-R).

The Keraflex treatment involves microwave thermokeratoplasty, allowing to transform and flatten the corneal shape by the means of microwave energy transmitted by a circular electrode, which automatically delivers the treatment to the desired specification. Microwaves cause collagen fibers to shrink, hence producing a corneal flattening.

Microwave energy action is applied only to a selected circular area, for less than one second.

Accelerated corneal cross-linking stabilizing effect

In order to secure the new corneal shape and make sure it will stand the test of time, the Keraflex treatment is followed by an

Keraflex treatment for keratoconus

Keratoconus is an alteration of the curvature of the cornea, which instead of its normal dome-shape becomes cone-shaped. Keratoconus induces irregular astigmatism, often associated with nearsightedness.

More info on keratoconus

What is Keraflex?

The Keraflex procedure embodies one of the most innovative and promising technique for keratoconus treatment.

It is a non-incisional procedure for refractive correction, performed in combination with a cross-linking corneale transepiteliale accelerato (C3-R).

The Keraflex treatment involves microwave thermokeratoplasty, allowing to transform and flatten the corneal shape by the means of microwave energy transmitted by a circular electrode, which automatically delivers the treatment to the desired specification. Microwaves cause collagen fibers to shrink, hence producing a corneal flattening.

Microwave energy action is applied only to a selected circular area, for less than one second.

Accelerated corneal cross-linking stabilizing effect

In order to secure the new corneal shape and make sure it will stand the test of time, the Keraflex treatment is followed by an cross-linking corneale transepiteliale accelerato (C3-R) , aimed at fortifying collagen links. After new diagnostic tests, the surgeon is able to define the most suitable moment to effectuate this second step.

The accelerated cross-linking is transepithelial: in other words, it can be carried out without removing the epithelium. During the treatment a photosensitive preparation of vitamin B2 (riboflavin) eye drops is applied to the cornea for 15 minutes, after which the UV-A irradiation begins. Compared to a standard cross-linking, the exposure time is reduced from 30 to only 3 minutes - hence the accelerated feature of this treatment.

A very sophisticated device generates UV-A rays, able to dynamize riboflavin. The combined action of vitamin B2 and UV-A rays entails the creation of new collagen links, hence a corneal strengthening.

Traditional and innovative therapeutic approaches

Keratoconus treatments vary depending on the severity of the disorder.

In its initial phases, glasses or rigid or gas-permeable contact lenses are excellent for correcting the nearsightedness and astigmatism that arise with the development of keratoconus.

If the disorder persists, glasses may prove inadequate and one can then opt for personalised contact lenses. The lenses help the corneal surface to flatten so as to restore good eyesight, taking into account the corneal curvature due to keratoconus.

Nonetheless, the use of contact lenses is not always an easy matter and may require frequent visits to the eye specialist and numerous lens changes. Furthermore, it is not so rare for the lenses to fail to restore the visual capacity the patient had before the disease. In such cases, or when a lens intolerance develops, the only solution on offer until a short time ago was corneal transplantation. Corneal transplantation enables glasses or contact lenses to be used again, thereby obtaining a sufficient quality of eyesight. The treatment is highly personalised and involves, depending on the case, various surgical alternatives.

The medical team and the Research and Development department of ILMO, directed by Dr Roberto Pinelli, have launched specific research projects regarding the use of the most advanced treatments for keratoconus:

  • the CK technique (Conductive Keratoplasty): a non-invasive technique, indicated in selected cases, that uses conduction radiofrequencies to slightly shift the corneal cone (responsible for distorted vision) to a sector of the cornea where it will interfere less with visual quality;
  • Corneal cross-linking, or to give it its full name, corneal collagen cross-linking with riboflavin (C3-R or CXL), which uses the combined action of riboflavin (vitamin B2) and UVA rays to strengthen the cornea, slowing down its progressive changes, and the variation devised by Dr Roberto Pinelli, which does not involve removal of the corneal epithelium.

, aimed at fortifying collagen links. After new diagnostic tests, the surgeon is able to define the most suitable moment to effectuate this second step.

The accelerated cross-linking is transepithelial: in other words, it can be carried out without removing the epithelium. During the treatment a photosensitive preparation of vitamin B2 (riboflavin) eye drops is applied to the cornea for 15 minutes, after which the UV-A irradiation begins. Compared to a standard cross-linking, the exposure time is reduced from 30 to only 3 minutes - hence the accelerated feature of this treatment.

A very sophisticated device generates UV-A rays, able to dynamize riboflavin. The combined action of vitamin B2 and UV-A rays entails the creation of new collagen links, hence a corneal strengthening.

Traditional and innovative therapeutic approaches

Keratoconus treatments vary depending on the severity of the disorder.

In its initial phases, glasses or rigid or gas-permeable contact lenses are excellent for correcting the nearsightedness and astigmatism that arise with the development of keratoconus.

If the disorder persists, glasses may prove inadequate and one can then opt for personalised contact lenses. The lenses help the corneal surface to flatten so as to restore good eyesight, taking into account the corneal curvature due to keratoconus.

Nonetheless, the use of contact lenses is not always an easy matter and may require frequent visits to the eye specialist and numerous lens changes. Furthermore, it is not so rare for the lenses to fail to restore the visual capacity the patient had before the disease. In such cases, or when a lens intolerance develops, the only solution on offer until a short time ago was corneal transplantation. Corneal transplantation enables glasses or contact lenses to be used again, thereby obtaining a sufficient quality of eyesight. The treatment is highly personalised and involves, depending on the case, various surgical alternatives.

The medical team and the Research and Development department of ILMO, directed by Dr Roberto Pinelli, have launched specific research projects regarding the use of the most advanced treatments for keratoconus:

  • the CK technique (Conductive Keratoplasty): a non-invasive technique, indicated in selected cases, that uses conduction radiofrequencies to slightly shift the corneal cone (responsible for distorted vision) to a sector of the cornea where it will interfere less with visual quality;
  • Corneal cross-linking, or to give it its full name, corneal collagen cross-linking with riboflavin (C3-R or CXL), which uses the combined action of riboflavin (vitamin B2) and UVA rays to strengthen the cornea, slowing down its progressive changes, and the variation devised by Dr Roberto Pinelli, which does not involve removal of the corneal epithelium.

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