Intacs or Intracorneal Ring Segments (ICRS)
In the past, intracorneal ring segments or Intacs were used to treat mild myopia (near-sightedness). Intacs are currently used to treat nearsightedness and astigmatism associated with keratoconus where contact lenses and glasses no longer provide adequate vision correction.
Keratoconus is an eye condition that results in progressive vision loss from thinning and irregularity in the cornea, the clear front surface of the eye. This condition can often be treated with glasses or contact lenses but, with progression, corneal surgery may become necessary. As keratoconus progresses, the quality of one’s vision deteriorates and contact lenses or glasses no longer become a satisfactory solution for most people. Historically, a corneal transplant has been the only option – until Intacs!
Intacs corneal implants are an exciting option for individuals experiencing an intolerance to contact lens 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.
After a small incision is made in the cornea, two crescent-shaped plastic rings are placed in the eye on the outer edge of the cornea, sparing the central area. Once in place, the two rings flatten the cornea so that light rays can properly focus on the retina. The goal of the procedure is to improve the regularity and stabilize the cornea, in an attempt to improve quality of vision and allow comfortable contact lens wear.
Intacs now provide an FDA-approved alternative to corneal transplants for keratoconus patients who are unable to see clearly with glasses or contact lenses. Intacs corneal implants are approved by the FDA for keratoconus under a Humanitarian Device Exemption (HDE). A significant advantage of ICRS is that rings may be surgically removed or replaced if needed.