About Corneal Cross-Linking
In patients with keratoconus, the shape of the cornea becomes altered due to the weakening of links between corneal fibers. This process works similarly to how a sweater can unravel and lose its shape if the threads break apart.
To address keratoconus, board-certified ophthalmologist Dr. Ralph Chu is pleased to offer patients a groundbreaking new method known as corneal cross-linking. Also called UV riboflavin CXL, corneal cross-linking treats keratoconus by increasing the strength of the fibers in the cornea. The procedure is done by combining riboflavin (Vitamin B2) eye drops and then activating the solution with exposure to UV light. This process stimulates the development of internal collagen fibrils to help the cornea maintain its dome shape.
Chu Vision Institute is proud to have been part of FDA clinical trials for corneal cross-linking. Our team is highly skilled and experienced in performing this treatment to improve your vision and eye health. Contact our office in Bloomington, MN to schedule a consultation.
"Bare with my lengthy review but if you’re like me, I wanted to know what others true thoughts were and I scoured as many reviews as possible to make sure I was making the best decision for me and my eyes. I am SO, SO thankful for Dr. Chu and Dr. Heckman’s expertise and honesty. I decided it was time to get Lasik and went in for my consultation. From check-in to my latest follow up, everyone at the Chu Vision Institute was friendly, warm, and helpful. Due to some past corneal scarring, Dr. Chu recommended that I get Lasik on one eye and PRK (ASA) on the other. I was extremely nervous about PRK because of the slightly longer recovery time and I really just wanted to wake up and have 20/20 vision like my friends who have had Lasik. The day of my procedure, they made sure I had all my questions and concerns answered before they let me in to have my surgery. That was extremely comforting to me and Dr. Heckman explained why PRK was recommended over Lasik. Simply put, I wouldn’t have had a good outcome if Dr. Chu had performed Lasik on both eyes. Both procedures went well and Dr. Chu confirmed his right decision during the procedure which took all of maybe 10 minutes for both eyes. As instructed, I went home and rested and could literally see 20/20 the next day with my Lasik eye. The PRK eye takes a little longer to heal but can already see better! (I was worried my blurry eye would affect my vision, but it did not). Recovery has been great and will continue to get better in the next few weeks. Now my husband wants to get his eyes done. Chu Vision Institute has exceeded my expectations and I am very happy with my results!"- E.M. / Google / Oct 20, 2020
"I had cataracts removed from both eyes. Dr. Chu and his staff were wonderful to work with. From the exam to the surgical procedure and recovery, everyone was very professional and pleasant . I had a perfect outcome and would highly recommend the Chu vision Clinic."- B.S. / Google / Oct 02, 2020
"I’ve been going to Chu vision for about three years now and and I’ve had excellent service each and every time. They follow me yearly for my dry eye condition. They are extremely thorough and take the time to answer all my questions. Highly recommend them."- C.S. / Google / Jul 31, 2020
"Exceptional. I felt like family as soon as I walked through the front door. Staff was extremely knowledgeable and friendly and my LASIK procedure went flawlessly. Like most folks, I did extensive research for months before my consult (word of mouth and online) I highly recommend Chu Vision for your procedure."- C.M. / Google / Mar 19, 2020
"I want to thank everyone at Chu Vision for the remarkable care we received recently. The clinic has an immaculate protocol to prevent Covid exposure for all of its patients. One might think that all the masks would prevent a warm, caring environment but not at Chu Vision! To a person, everyone was warm and welcoming. Dr. Chu was terrific and extremely thorough. The clinic was able to assess my husband’s acute vision change using a remarkable variety of tests and tools. What would have taken weeks at another clinic took only hours at Chu Vision. We won’t ever go anywhere else. Thank you so very much!"- K.D. / Yelp / Jul 13, 2020
Is CXL Right for Me?
Typical candidates for corneal cross-linking are individuals aged 14 or older who have keratoconus. Although this procedure can be performed on patients of any age, many experts agree that treatment in young patients usually produces improved vision and lasting results. Early intervention is ideal because younger individuals typically have not experienced as much disease progression as adults. To determine if corneal cross-linking is a good fit for you, Dr. Chu will perform a full eye examination, as well as review your medical history and progression of your condition.
How Cross-Linking Is Performed
Corneal cross-linking is done as an outpatient procedure at Chu Surgery Center, located on-site in Bloomington, MN. To begin, we will apply anesthetic eye drops to fully numb your eyes during the procedure. Next, Dr. Chu will place the Vitamin B2 drops into your eyes and give them about 15 – 30 minutes to absorb. After that, he will expose your eyes to an ultraviolet light. Since the drops contain a photo-enhancing substance, they will become activated by producing specialized molecules of oxygen with they come in contact with the UV rays. This way, collagen fibers are able to form inside the cornea, strengthening its shape to prevent or slow the future progression of structural weakening associated with keratoconus.
What to Expect after CROSS-LINKING
After your CXL procedure, we will place a protective contact lens over each of your treated eyes. Dr. Chu may provide you with a prescription for antibiotic eye drops that you will need to use during your recovery. The healing phase following corneal cross-linking surgery should last about 3 – 5 days, during which your treated eyes may have some temporary irritation and sensitivity to light. Some patients report gaining some improved vision about a week after their CXL treatment, but this can vary among individuals. Improvements can continue for up to a year after the procedure. Until the cornea has fully adjusted, you may notice a frequently changing eyeglass prescription.
With the advanced corneal cross-linking (CXL) technique, it is possible to strengthen the fibers within the cornea to preserve its shape. This innovative procedure can protect the eye health and vision of individuals who have keratoconus. In some patients, CXL can be effective in preventing the need for a future corneal transplant. If you are seeking treatment for keratoconus in the Bloomington, MN area, contact Chu Vision Institute for more information.
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