Premier Medical and Dr. Turner are excited to announce a new, cutting edge procedure that will be performed in our Daphne clinic. The Avedro KXL device allows Dr. Turner to perform a newly FDA-approved procedure called Collagen Corneal Crosslinking. This procedure is aimed at individuals who suffer from keratoconus and post-LASIK ectasia.
Keratoconus is a condition where the cornea (or front structure of the eye) becomes progressively steep and irregular. This causes, at first, a rapidly changing glasses prescription or refraction with usually a great deal of astigmatism. Eventually, the cornea becomes so irregular that glasses cannot adequately correct the patient’s vision. These patients will then often be forced to wear RGPs or hard contact lenses which are much more difficult to handle and more uncomfortable than traditional soft contact lenses. If the cornea continues to progress, the final option is a corneal transplant.
The other condition, Post – LASIK ectasia, occurs after an individual has had LASIK and the cornea begins to thin out and become irregular. This is a rare but devastating risk associated with LASIK. It is similar to an “induced keratoconus.”
The Crosslinking procedure has been shown to halt the progression of keratoconus and post LASIK ectasia. This provides patients a way to remain in glasses or their contacts without being forced to have a corneal transplant. Premier Medical is the only practice in the Gulf Coast area performing this procedure.
Dr. Turner provides a full range of corneal services, surgery and refractive surgery. He has recently added Avedro’s KXL System, which is the only FDA-approved device and technique for corneal collagen crosslinking in the setting of keratoconus and post-LASIK ectasia. Keratoconus is a progressive condition where the cornea begins to steepen and begins to thin. As this condition progression, most patients will only notice a rapidly changing glasses prescription or refraction, often with more and more astigmatism. Eventually the cornea will continue to progressively steepen and the glasses or soft contact lenses cannot provide adequate vision. The patients will then be forced into wearing rigid gas permeable (RGPs) or hard contact lenses to allow better vision; however, these lenses are often more cumbersome, uncomfortable, and expensive. Finally, the cornea will continue to decline resulting in poor vision despite the special contacts. The only option is then proceed with a corneal transplant which has numerous risks, extensive healing times, long term eye drop use, and numerous post op follow up visits.
A 2nd condition called post-LASIK ectasia also benefits from corneal collagen crosslinking. This condition is essentially an “induced keratoconus,” and it occurs after a patient has undergone a refractive procedure such as LASIK or PRK. With both of these refractive procedures, the cornea is reshaped to enable the patient to be free of glasses. As the cornea is reshaped, its tissue is usually thinned out considerably. If too much tissue is removed or the patient had very early, undetected keratoconus, then the cornea may begin steepening or thinning months to years after the surgery.
Dr. Turner will first need to see you for an initial consultation to determine if you are a candidate for the Crosslinking procedure. If you meet the FDA guidelines for the procedure, then he and his staff will set up a date for this to performed. The procedure itself takes about 60 to 90 minutes and is performed in the office. The cornea is soaked for 30 minutes with a liquid vitamin called Riboflavin (also called B2). Then the cornea is treated with a specific wavelength of ultraviolet (UV) light for 30 minutes. After the procedure is completed, a bandage contact lens will be placed for comfort.
Rarely do patient require additional treatments to halt the progression of cornea, but there is no charge if additional treatment are required.
The procedure is recently FDA-approved but currently not covered by any major medical insurance companies. The cost is $2500 per eye. The average across the country is over $3000 per eye. Dr. Turner feels it is imperative that this procedure be made as affordable as possible. No interest financing is available through Care Credit which is a great option that can stretch payment over 12-24 months
1302 Highway 98
Daphne, AL 36526