Salt Lake City Eye Doctors Say First FDA-Approved Corneal Cross-Linking Treatment is Now Available in Utah

After years of study and clinical trials, The Eye Institute of Utah in Salt Lake City says the FDA-approved Avedro Corneal Cross-Linking treatment for patients with progressive keratoconus and post-refractive surgery corneal ectasia is now available.

Salt Lake City, UT – Doctors at The Eye Institute of Utah are now treating patients with the FDA-approved Avedro Corneal Cross-Linking treatment, indicated for use in people with progressive keratoconus and post-LASIK ectasia. Corneal specialists at the Salt Lake City eye surgery and vision care center, a comprehensive specialty eye care practice, have been successfully using corneal cross-linking therapy to treat keratoconus patients through clinical trials for several years. The Avedro Corneal Cross-Linking (KXL®) treatment is the first and only FDA-approved treatment available in the U.S.

Despite receiving FDA-approval for the Avedro Corneal Cross-Linking treatment in April 2016, practices across the U.S. had to wait to offer the approved KXL® treatment until receiving shipments of the FDA-approved photo enhancers used for the treatment, Photrexa® and Photrexa® Viscous.

Keratoconus is the most common corneal dystrophy in the U.S., affecting approximately 1 in every 2,000 people. Keratoconus is a progressive eye disease that occurs when the front of the eye, called the cornea, thins and bulges into a cone-like shape. This causes significant visual distortion, progressive myopia, and may even lead to the need for corneal transplant surgery. Corneal cross-linking is considered one of the most effective treatments for slowing or halting the progression of keratoconus and preventing the need for surgical intervention.

Corneal cross-linking is a minimally invasive treatment that lasts approximately 60-90 minutes. Cross-linking uses liquid riboflavin (vitamin b2) and controlled UV light to build new collagen bonds in the cornea, which helps recover and preserve some of the cornea’s mechanical strength. The FDA-approved Avedro cross-linking treatment is an “epithelium-off” treatment, where the top layer of the cornea, called the epithelium, is removed, which helps the riboflavin deeply penetrate the cornea.

After a cross-linking treatment, the doctor will place a contact lens in the eye to act as a bandage as the epithelium heals. It is normal to experience blurry vision and some irritation for several days after treatment, but vision should gradually improve over the course of a few weeks. The ultimate goal of a cross-linking treatment is to slow or halt the progression of keratoconus by strengthening the cornea, but many patients also see an improvement in the quality of their vision and may see a mild decrease in the amount of correction needed after treatment. The doctors at The Eye Institute of Utah say that individuals who are interested in corneal collagen cross-linking should consult with their eye doctor to evaluate possible candidacy for the treatment.

About The Eye Institute of Utah
The Eye Institute of Utah was established in 1980 and is known as a leader and pioneer in clinical and surgical eye care. The expansive team of Salt Lake City eye doctors specialize in a number of areas in the field of ophthalmology and vision care, including refractive surgery, laser vision correction procedures such as LASIK and PRK, cataract surgery, intraocular lens implants, and treatment for a range of eye conditions and diseases. Services available at the practice include vision correction, advanced corneal and retinal disease treatment, procedures for cataracts, glaucoma, and dry eye syndrome, and other options. The Eye Institute of Utah also regularly participates in clinical research with the goal of advancing surgical techniques and technology to offer patients continued improvements in eye care and results from treatment. The Eye Institute of Utah surgeons are available for interview upon request.

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The Eye Institute of Utah
755 East 3900 South
Salt Lake City, UT 84107
(801) 266-2283