Intacs® Corneal Implants

Nearsighted patients who do not want to wear glasses or contact lenses often come to Pacific Eye seeking LASIK, but at our San Luis Obispo County and Santa Maria offices, we offer other refractive options for those who may want or need a reversible alternative.

Not all nearsighted patients are good candidates for laser eye surgery. Our Central Coast ophthalmologists offer a full range of refractive procedures, including corneal implants, to help restore clear vision with optimal flexibility. Intacs® corneal Implants are used to correct mild to moderate nearsightedness (myopia) without permanently altering the cornea, and are also an excellent option for those with keratoconus.

If you would like to learn more about Intacs corneal implants, request an appointment online, or call (805) 545-8100. Pacific Eye has 8 offices on the Central Coast, to serve patients from Paso Robles to Lompoc.

About Myopia

Nearsightedness (myopia) is the result of too much curvature of the cornea, which causes images to focus in front of the retina, making distance vision blurry. Glasses or contact lenses can typically correct nearsightedness, but many people find these inconvenient or uncomfortable. Still others suffer from a condition called keratoconus – a gradual thinning of the cornea, which causes the eye to become more cone-shaped. The resulting steep curvature of the cornea causes myopia and vision distortion, and glasses and contact lenses may not provide adequate correction. LASIK and other laser vision correction procedures are not recommended for those with keratoconus because it may worsen the condition. Our corneal surgeons at Pacific Eye will help you to determine the best treatment option for your myopia.

What Are Intacs Implants?

Intacs are very small, crescent-shaped pieces of the same clear plastic polymer found in cataract intraocular lens (IOL) implants. They are surgically inserted under the outer edge of the cornea to flatten the cornea and correct the path of light entering the eye. The result is clearer, sharper vision at a range of distances.

FDA-approved Intacs corneal implants can also reduce myopia in keratoconus patients who can no longer see well with eyeglasses or specialty contact lenses. They may also be used to correct nearsightedness in individuals who do not want to permanently alter the cornea through a LASIK procedure. Though designed for long-term vision correction, Intacs can be surgically removed if necessary, or used to delay the need for corneal transplant. In some patients, the Intacs lens is so effective at stabilizing the cornea and improving vision that they no longer need a transplant operation.

The Procedure

The Intacs outpatient surgical procedure takes about 15 minutes. Your surgeon first places anesthetizing drops in your eye and may administer a mild oral sedative. During surgery, one tiny incision will be made in the surface of the cornea and then the crescent-shaped Intacs implants will be inserted. Once the implants are in position, the incision will be closed.

Following Surgery

Follow-up visits will be necessary to monitor the healing process and evaluate your vision after the procedure. Even after a successful procedure, glasses or contacts may still be required for clear vision at every distance.

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