Common Cornea Treatments

Cornea Transplant

This may be needed for severe cornea issues or for patients with significant corneal scarring, edema, or clouding. Endothelial keratoplasty (EK) is a modern cornea transplant technique that replaces only the diseased layer of the cornea, leaving healthy areas intact. Further advances in cornea transplant surgery have led to the development of several different kinds of EK procedures, including Descemet's Stripping Endothelial Keratoplasty (DSEK) and Descemet's Membrane Endothelial Keratoplasty (DMEK). These options have been shown to contribute to significantly better and faster visual recovery when compared to traditional corneal transplantation. For those with corneal scarring and abnormal blood vessel growth, Deep Anterior Lamellar Keratoplasty (DALK) and Penetrating Keratoplasty (PKP) may be the best cornea transplant procedure option. Dr. Barrett is experienced in all types of these corneal transplants. The type of transplant he recommends for patients is based on the specific layers of their cornea that have been affected by their eye disease.

 

Corneal Collagen Cross-linking

This procedure is the first and only therapeutic treatment that has been rigorously tested and FDA-approved for keratoconus and other forms of corneal ectasia. It is a minimally invasive outpatient procedure designed to stop the progression of this disease, so it is important to be evaluated for this early in the course of the disease, before the cornea has had irreversible changes or scarring. It involves gently removing the surface layer of the cornea, then applying drops of riboflavin solution (a form of vitamin-B2) to the cornea, followed by a specific wavelength of UVA light. This process strengthens and stabilizes the weakened links bonding the corneal fibers together, helping preserve vision quality. While it can’t reverse the distortion of the cornea that has already happened, it locks the cornea into its current shape and helps prevent the disease from worsening.

Hollingshead Eye Center is the ONLY location in the Treasure Valley to offer the FDA-approved treatment of corneal collagen crosslinking. Because we do, it allows us to accept most insurances and ensure our patients receive the most effective, affordable care.

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Crosslinking: Overview

Pterygium Excision

When pterygium affects vision, surgery to carefully remove the pterygia may be recommended. This is an outpatient procedure performed under local or topical anesthesia. After surgery, the patient may return home that day and the eye is patched overnight. Healing typically takes several weeks, and patients are asked to apply prescribed topical eye-drops or ointments several times a day.