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.
"If you are considering cataract surgery, Dr. Swan and the staff at Vance Thompson Vision in Bozeman are the team you want in your corner. They are both knowledgeable and professional while still remaining personable, kind and compassionate. The office is equipped with the latest in advanced technology making the process easier and safer than ever. I felt taken care of from the moment I walked in the door. The staff, Briana in particular, and Dr. Swan, went over every aspect of the surgery with me. They answered all my questions, and spent a substantial amount of time examining me and reviewing the available options for my specific situation. I wholeheartedly recommend Dr. Swan an Vance Thompson Vision in Bozeman."- J.D. / Google / Sep 02, 2018
"My husband was referred by his eye doctor in Helena and we were pleased to get an appointment within a few days. The appointment was a pleasant experience, with friendly, knowledgeable staff. Kacie did the preliminary tests and was very good to my husband and very professional on her knowledge. Dr Swan has a very easy manner and was very thorough and really informative. He spent plenty of time explaining and was clear about the benefits and drawbacks to my husbands procedure. The whole appointment was very relaxed and informative. We'll post how the procedure went soon!"- G.J. / Yelp / Aug 06, 2018
"Very friendly and accommodating staff. I have a corneal disease and they really know their stuff!"- C.S. / Facebook / Jul 31, 2018
"Our son had a difficult case of Keratoconus that had not been diagnosed for 35 years. When it was diagnosed we took him to Dr. Swan and he found that cross linking was a good option. They were very caring and professional throughout the process. They explained things well and answered all questions that were asked. Upon completion of the cross linking they referred him to get scleral lenses at Advanced Eye Care. He started out with about 20/200 vision and after cross linking and the scleral lenses he how has 20/25 vision. That is a miracle. Dr Swan is the real thing and we cannot say enough about the fantastic, professional and life changing service that they provide at Vance Thompson Vision."- O. / Google / Jul 24, 2018
"The care I received in beyond compare. The doctor and all of the staff actually do their best to make sure the patient is fully knowledgeable about options. The information provide before and after surgeries made me comfortable and positive about the results. That attitude alone helped me heal quickly and with confidence. I don't say that lightly. Can't imagine a more professional doctor and staff!!!"- K.W. / Google / Jul 18, 2018
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.