Intacs is an FDA-approved procedure for patients with low levels of myopia, or nearsightedness, without significant astigmatism. Intacs corneal implants are also an option for individuals experiencing intolerance to contact lenses and are facing a corneal transplant. Intacs corneal implants may be the best possible option to stabilize the cornea, improve vision and potentially defer the need for a corneal transplant. The Intacs procedure may also be used as an alternative treatment for LASIK and other types of laser eye surgery. This procedure can improve vision and reduce the distortion caused by keratoconus.
The Intacs procedure is less invasive than a corneal transplant or many other surgical procedures of the eye and the Intacs success rate is high. The surgeons performing the procedure are typically corneal specialists having expertise in treating keratoconus. Each surgeon has also undergone a rigorous training program specific to Intacs for treating patients with keratoconus.
First, anesthetic drops are used to numb the eye, which helps keep the eye open throughout the procedure to prevent blinking. A single, small incision is made in the surface of the cornea and the eye is prepared for Intacs placement. To stabilize your eye and ensure proper alignment of the Intacs inserts, the centering guide is placed on the surface of your eye. During this time, inner layers of the cornea are gently separated in a narrow circular area to allow for Intacs placement. The Intacs are then inserted and placed, and the small opening in the cornea is closed. These inserts can be removed or exchanged and help maintain a more natural corneal shape to restore vision. The procedure takes about 15 minutes.
Follow-up visits will be required to monitor the healing process and evaluate the visual benefits of the procedure. Even after a successful procedure, glasses or contacts still may be required to provide you with good vision. As with any surgical procedure, there are some risks, including infection. Some patients experience visual symptoms including difficulty with night vision, glare, halos, blurry and fluctuating vision.