Also referred to as implantable ring segments, Intacs© are an option to LVC for some patients. They are reversible meaning they can be removed at a later date if need be and can also be used to treat some corneal diseases such as keratoconus. Intacs© are made of acrylic and under the microscope look like a transparent ring in the cornea. They are placed about two-thirds depth of the cornea, encircling the pupil.
Intacs© flatten the central cornea in patients with myopia. The front surface of the Intac is curved while the back surface of the rings is flat. The curvature design of the ring causes the cornea collagen fibers in front of the rings to steepen more rapidly in the periphery and flatten centrally.
Intacs© are held in place within the cornea by small channels that are produced with the Intralase laser. The rings can be removed if needed (for example when a patient undergoes cataract surgery). In patients with moderate to advanced keratoconus, Intacs© can help reduce corneal astigmatism and on-going studies are trying to determine if they may also help to slow down or stabilize the disease process.
Because they are transparent, they are not readily apparent to the casual observer, however they are not invisible. As with any surgery, Intacs© are not free of risk (for example, infection can occur). Your physician will discuss those risks as well as other surgical options before your surgery.