Intacs (Corneal Ring Segments)
Intacs are clear, micro-thin prescription inserts made of biocompatible plastic. When placed between the layers of corneal tissue, they cause the central cornea to flatten, correcting mild nearsightedness and astigmatism. Intacs are now an FDA-approved treatment for patients with Keratoconus, an eye disease that causes a thinning of the cornea.
Intacs reshape the curvature of the cornea from within, working with the natural shape of the eye. With Intacs, no tissue is permanently removed from the cornea.
Intacs cannot be felt, are no more visible than a contact lens and require no maintenance. With Intacs, many people actually see better than 20/20. They are the result of nearly a decade of clinical research and have been available worldwide for several years.
Intacs are designed to be permanent, but they can be removed and even exchanged with Intacs of a different prescription if vision needs change with age.
Intacs are for those who:
- want to reduce or eliminate their dependence on glasses or contacts
- are at least 21 years of age
- are mildly nearsighted, including those with Keratoconus
- have had a stable eye prescription for at least one year
- have no health issues affecting their eyes
What to expect on surgery day:
You will arrive 30-60 minutes prior to your procedure. Once you have been checked in you may be offered a sedative to help you relax. You will then be prepared for surgery. The area around your eyes will be cleaned and a sterile drape may be applied around your eye. Anesthetic eye drops will be used to numb your eyes; no injections or needles will be used. When your eye is completely numb, an eyelid holder will be placed between your eyelids to keep you from blinking during the procedure.
Next, a very small incision will be made and the two ring segments will be inserted in the outer edge of your cornea. During this process, you may feel a little pressure, but no pain. The small incision will bond itself using the natural outward pressure in your eye, without the need for stitches. The Intacs procedure takes about 15 to 20 minutes. The results of the surgery are almost immediate, however your vision will be a little blurry, so someone will need to drive you home. You should relax for the rest of the day. You may experience some discomfort, but this is usually alleviated with an over-the-counter pain reliever. Most patients resume normal activities within a day or two.
The decision to have Intacs inserted is an important one that only you can make. The goal of any vision correction procedure is to reduce your dependence on corrective lenses. However, we cannot guarantee you will have the results you desire. The vast majority of our patients are extremely happy with their vision after Intacs and can do most activities without dependence on corrective lenses.
Serious complications with Intacs are extremely rare. Intacs is a safe and effective procedure, but like any surgical procedure, it does have some risks. After a thorough eye exam, you and your doctor will determine if Intacs are an option for you. If you are a good candidate, you will be given additional information about the procedure that will allow you to make an informed decision about whether to proceed. Be sure you have all your questions answered to your satisfaction.
Alternatives to Intacs
Intacs are not the only surgical procedure designed to correct nearsightedness. To learn about other procedures go to the surgical and laser vision correction procedures section of our Web Site. If you would like to learn more about vision correction procedures from sources other than our practice, we encourage you to link to a number of Web sites we feel provide factual and up-to-date information. You may also choose to make an appointment, attend a seminar or request additional information to learn more about this exciting procedure.