About Corneal Cross-Linking
To maintain the shape and strength of the cornea, our award-winning team at Vance Thompson Vision may advise corneal cross-linking to patients who present moderate to severe corneal thinning and/or keratoconus. Our doctors are committed to creating and protecting your vision, and they are delighted to offer corneal cross-linking as it was recently approved by the FDA. Vance Thompson Vision has been involved with corneal cross-linking since 2011 through our participation in the clinical trials leading up to FDA approval. We are now implementing this exciting technology and eager to continue developing and researching this treatment. At our office in Bozeman, MT, we see men and women with advanced cases of irregularly shaped corneas, also known as ectasia, and we look forward to treating these patients as soon as possible.
Corneal cross-linking, also known as CXL, is implemented to slow the progression of ectasia. CXL will not restore the cornea to its initial shape or correct poor vision. In treatment, we use a combination of ultraviolet light and riboflavin to form additional cross-links within the insufficiencies of the cornea.
What is ectasia? Patients who have ectasia experience a bulging and protrusion of their cornea in a cone-like shape. At some point, the cornea will start to lose its strength since it is stretched beyond standard means. Vision in patients with ectasia will weaken as the cornea progressively weakens as well.
"I was so pleased to meet with Dr. Russell Swan and his staff at Vance Thompson Vision. They were kind and competent with a good understanding of my disease which is glaucoma. I felt comfortable enough to go ahead and schedule a cataract surgery and I look forward to Dr. Swan’s care going forward."- P.S. / Google / Apr 19, 2019
"Everyone was fantastic! Fabulous job done by Dr. Swan & staff."- S.S. / Facebook / Apr 19, 2019
"Dr. Swan and the entire team assembled at Vance Thompson Vision are world class. Not only did the staff take the time to thoroughly educate me on the entire procedure, I have NEVER had a better patient care experience within any discipline of medicine. The providing team is just that incredible. I felt cared for, comfortable and completely confidant that Dr. Swan had my best interest and outcomes in mind.I had the Lasik procedure done and my outcome was truly flawless. Dr. Swan utilizes a completely bladeless procedure with the most up to date and wold class technology. Not to be undercut by his skill set, which is exceptional. On top of being a world class surgeon, Dr. Swan also walked me through each part of the procedure in a thoughtful and gentle way.The nursing staff, techs and assistants were all phenomenal. I really just can't quite put into words the incredible experience I have had at Vance Thompson. Bozeman is so lucky to have this level of expertise in town.I am so grateful and blessed by Dr. Swan and his team. Dr. Swan has given me an important piece of my life back and the freedom that comes from beautifully restored vision."- J.H. / Google / Mar 22, 2019
"competent, friendly staff. highly skilled surgeon Dr. Russell Swann. excellent results, no complications!"- W.T. / Facebook / Mar 19, 2019
"Amazing team , Bozeman is lucky to have Dr. Swan and his team. Extremely thorough, detailed and it’s obvious the level of expertise and technology is second to none."- M.B. / Google / Feb 28, 2019
An ideal candidate for CXL will have a diagnosis of ectasia, keratoconus, pellucid marginal degeneration, and any other disorder or disease that will lead to the thinning of the cornea. Patients with blurred or distorted vision, chronic eye irritation, or glare/light sensitivities may also be referred to our practice for a consultation as these conditions can be symptomatic of something wrong with the cornea.
While CXL is not a surgical procedure, it is still referred to as a minimally invasive treatment. During your diagnostic testing, your corneas will be mapped to detect deterioration and the level of severity of your condition. When you come into our office for your CXL procedure, you will lie on your back with an eye held open (one at a time) for the treatment. Riboflavin drops will be added to the eye while you are under ultraviolet light.
Advanced cases of ectasia will require the removal of the epithelium layer of the cornea to allow the liquid riboflavin to infiltrate within the corneal tissue. During treatment planning, your surgeon will discuss all your options for strengthening your cornea and how to manage your eye condition in the future, as CXL can be combined with other procedures for a more comprehensive treatment.
What to Expect
Your post-procedure aftercare is very important to your treatment. Please schedule and keep all follow-up appointments with your eye care provider. You should watch for excessive swelling, irritation, pain, and/or infection in your eyes. Call our office immediately if you experience these symptoms.
- Recovery Time
- 3 - 4 days
- Procedure Time
- 1.5 hours
- Follow Up Time
- 3 days, 2 weeks, 1 month
- Recovery Location
Get Connected To Us
Having this sight-saving procedure may eliminate your need for a corneal transplant in the future. We invite you to connect with Vance Thompson Vision to learn more about how CXL can slow your progressive keratoconus or ectasis. Schedule your consultation today.