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.
"I had LASIK at Chu Vision last week and couldn’t recommend them highly enough. They provided a great consultation and advised on the best procedure for my eyes. Every detail (large and small) was planned for, and the whole process was very smooth. Best investment I’ve ever made!"- J.M. / Google / Apr 26, 2021
"I had LASIK performed by Dr. Chu and the entire experience was wonderful. All of the staff members were extremely nice and helpful - from the check in person who coordinated my visit to the tech who explained what all of the tests were and why they were needed during my evaluation appointment. Dr. Chu personally has a web call with you a few days before your surgery to ensure you do not have any other questions and are still comfortable with moving forward. The day of the surgery, Dr. Chu checks in with you right before you enter the laser room, performs the surgery himself, and then follows up immediately after by looking at your eyes to ensure everything went well. Chu Institute isn't the cheapest LASIK option, but it is clear why they are viewed as a leader in this field throughout the nation. From the knowledge and professionalism of the staff, to the attention that is received from Dr. Chu himself, to the best and latest technology to ensure the optimal results for your vision, they are worth the little extra. I personally wouldn't want my procedure done through a Groupon on a 10 year old laser system - your eyes are worth more than that."- P.P. / Google / Mar 11, 2021
"I cannot say enough! I got LASIK through Chu Vision and everyone was informative and friendly throughout the entire process. They still answer every question with a smile! 11 out of 10 experience!"- C.F. / Facebook / Feb 11, 2021
"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’m so impressed with Chu Vision!! Everything inside is totally sanitized and they have a state of the art filtration system. I have never felt safer! It’s so clean, you could eat off the floor. The entire staff is incredible! Everyone is so friendly, welcoming and professional. I have been going to Chu Vision for the past 10 years and I will never go anywhere else. Thank you for your wonderful service!"- J.T. / Google / Dec 19, 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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