Collagen Cross-Linking (UVX)

Collagen Cross-Linking is a new technique designed to treat patients with thinning corneas or suffering from keratoconus. The objective of the surgery is to strengthen the cornea to slow down or halt corneal thinning, it is not a cure for the disease.

This procedure has been pioneered in Australia by our Principal Surgeon Dr John Males. It is hoped this technique will delay or prevent the need for a corneal transplant.

Lady getting an eye test

What does Collagen Cross-Linking (UVX) involve?

  • The upper most layer of the cornea (epithelium) is removed
  • Riboflaven (Vitamin) B2 drops are instilled in the eye for 30 minutes
  • A controlled amount of ultraviolet light (UVA) is used to increase the natural anchors or bonds within the cornea to stop it from bulging out and becoming steep and irregular. The process produces a biomechanical stabilisation of the cornea.

How do I know if I am suitable for UVX?

  • If you have been diagnosed with thinning corneas
  • If you suffer from keratoconus and your vision is impacted
  • You will require a full examination to test your suitability for the procedure
  • You need to have noteable progression to the keratoconud for this procedure to be suitable

What results can be expected from UVX?

  • There is some discomfort associated or the first few days after the treatment, pain relieving tablets are given to assist with this phase of healing. A “bandage” contact lens is placed in the operated eye for the comfort of the patient. This lens is removed after 4-5 days, the vision is generally quite hazy and blurry shortly after surgery and takes several weeks to settle.
  • The outcome is dependent on how advanced the keratoconus is. The treatment is designed to strengthen the cornea and halt the progression of keratoconus. It is not a cure for the condition.

What is Topography Guided Laser Vision?

Laser vision correction has traditionally not been available for those with keratoconus. This new technique combines Collagen Cross Linking with Topography Guided Laser Vision. You will first require a full examination to test your suitability for the procedure. This includes a test for refraction, two forms of corneal topography (mapping the cornea), and including scanning with a Pentacam and Sirius Corneal Topographers.

The treatment is designed to reduce the strength of glasses or contact lenses, and unlike regular laser vision correction, you may still require glasses or contact lenses to obtain the best vision possible, although the strength of the prescription is reduced in most cases. Read a detailed clinical article on this procedure.

For a diagnosis and to discuss treatment options of any eye condition, please make an appointment.