Keratoconus treatment using the CXL method

Keratoconus treatment using the CXL method


Corneal collagen crosslinking is a new, minimally invasive treatment for keratoconus, the purpose of which is to stop and stabilize the disease and prevent its progress.

This procedure is based on the photochemical reaction of riboflavin molecules and UV radiation at a wavelength of 365 nm. Correct and professional procedure leads to transverse bonds in the corneal stroma, which increases the hardness and strength of the cornea.


  • minimally invasive method
  • leads to the strengthening of the cornea
  • stops the progress of the disease and prevents its progress.


The surgery is preceded by a preoperative examination, on the basis of which we determine the stage the disease is at, explain the course of the surgery and plan the surgery.

CXL cannot be performed in patients with corneal thickness smaller than 400 mm, due to the risk of its damage. Patients with a history of corneal inflammation, seropositive rheumatoid arthritis, or pregnant women are also inappropriate candidates for the surgery.


The aim of the surgery is to strengthen the corneal tissue and it is performed as follows:

Anaesthetic drops are applied for local narcosis.

  1. The surface epithelial layer of the cornea is removed.
  2. A riboflavin solution is applied to the eye at 5-minute intervals. It seeps for about 30 minutes, until there is a sufficient concentration in the eye.
  3. The cornea is now ready for exposure to UV light with a wavelength of 365 nm. This exposure takes about 30 minutes, while the riboflavin solution is still administered into the eye.
  4. During the photochemical reaction, riboflavin creates new collagen bonds and thus strengthens the cornea and protects the eye from the penetration of UV radiation.
  5. A contact lens under which the epithelial layer of the cornea recovers in a matter of days is applied to the eye after the surgery.
  6. The surgery takes about one hour.


In the postoperative period, you will apply eye drops and have regular medical checkups. At least four days of sick leave should be expected. The vision may temporarily worsen in the first few months after the surgery, but in the end, the strength of the cornea is higher by 300%!

Up to 50% of patients experience a mild retreat of the condition, and visual acuity slightly improves as well. A less effective this type of the surgery is surgery without the removal of the epithelial layer.


Keratoconus treatment is a long-term process. It is possible that the method will not have the desired effect in individual cases, therefore, it is possible to repeat it in favorable cases. The vast majority of changes on the cornea occur in the first six months of surgery, but the entire response takes about two years. Therefore, patience and proper communication with your doctor are necessary.

Eye drops must be applied for about 4-6 weeks after the surgery. It is also possible that the front third of the cornea will become temporarily swollen as a result of the surgery, resulting in impaired vision on the operated eye.

During the healing process we do not recommend a visit to a swimming pool, sauna, or solarium. Contact sports should also be limited for some time.