Corneal Collagen Crosslinking

Philadelphia Eye Associates is proud to now offer Corneal collagen crosslinking, also known as CXL or KXL. This is a revolutionary treatment for progressive keratoconus, a disease of worsening near-sightedness and astigmatism that if left untreated can lead to blindness. Click here for frequently asked questions about keratoconus.

What Is Corneal Collagen Crosslinking (Cxl/Kxl)?

Corneal collagen crosslinking, otherwise known as CXL or KXL, is a highly effective treatment for stopping vision loss from keratoconus. The technique utilizes a specialized UV light source and a photosensitizer, riboflavin (vitamin B2), to strengthen and stiffen an otherwise weak, floppy, and misshapen cornea. Click here for frequently asked questions about corneal collagen cross linking

Illustrating of Less Cross-Linking

Less Cross-Linking (Weaker)

Illustrating of More Cross Linking

More Cross Linking (Stronger)

History Of CXL

CXL has been used since 2003 in Europe, and have been widely employed across the world for over a decade. Well-controlled clinical studies have demonstrated this simple treatment’s remarkable ability to halt progressive keratoconus, a potentially blinding disease that typically affects young adults.

A New Treatment For Keratoconus

On April 18, 2016, the United States Food and Drug Administration recognized the safety and efficacy of corneal collagen crosslinking and approved it as a treatment for progressive keratoconus.

Prior to the availability of CXL as a treatment for keratoconus, the only proven therapy for the disease was corneal transplantation, a much more invasive procedure requiring a lifetime of care and caution. In countries where CXL has been available for years, the rate at which keratoconus patients have deteriorated to the point of needing transplantation has dropped dramatically. In Norway, for example, the transplantation rate among these patients has been cut in half.

Schedule Your Consultation

To schedule an appointment to determine if you qualify for CXL, call 215-339-8100 and ask for a corneal consultation for keratoconus with Dr. Brad H Feldman. You can also submit an online contact form on our website, and we’ll get back to you at our earliest convenience.

The combination of UV light exposure to a cornea soaked in vitamin B2, riboflavin, creates new bonds within the cornea causing it to stiffen and become stronger. A single treatment is usually all that is required to achieve this effect and halt the progression of keratoconus.

Keratoconus is a disease of increasing near-sightedness (myopia) and astigmatism (irregular and steep corneal shape) that is due to weakening of the cornea. Over time, the weakened cornea can take on a conical shape, giving this disease its name. This process typically begins in adolescence or young adulthood.

Many patients are unaware that they have the disease, but find that their vision keeps worsening and that they continually need stronger and stronger glasses, or even hard contact lenses to see well. Many experience difficulty with glare and night vision. Eye rubbing is often associated with this condition.

If you are someone who rubs your eyes a lot and has increasing astigmatism, you should be examined to determine if you have this disease. While it can run in families, most patients do not have family members with this condition.

To determine if you have this disorder a corneal topography, or surface map, is needed to examine the shape of the cornea. With such mapping, the diagnosis can definitively be made by your ophthalmologist.

Multiple clinical studies since 2003 have demonstrated the effectiveness of CXL in halting the progression of vision loss from keratoconus. The technology has been in wide spread use around the world, including throughout Europe where it received the CE Mark of approval in 2006. A decade later, the rigorous stamp of FDA approval was given on April 18, 2016.

Studies show that CXL is effective for the majority of patients in stopping vision loss from keratoconus. Additionally, some patients will experience an improvement in vision due to a decrease in corneal steepening and myopia.

Yes. However, just like any other treatment there are risks to this surgical procedure. You should have an informed discussion about the safety and appropriateness of this procedure with your ophthalmologist before undergoing the treatment.

A full list of the adverse reactions from the Avedro FDA clinical study can be found in their labeling information here.

We are finally at the point that most insurers are still covering this procedure in full in the region! 

If you are losing vision from progressive keratoconus, you should have your eye treated as soon as possible. Remember, CXL halts the progression of disease but it cannot fully reverse it. Waiting may result in a permanent change to your cornea that significantly worsens your quality of vision.

The procedure itself takes approximately 1 hour and is painless. However, there will be discomfort and blurriness during a period following the procedure typically lasting about 5 days (each patient’s experience will vary). Every patient must be seen at least twice during the week following the procedure. During this period, you will be placed in a bandage contact lens and will not be able to wear your own contact lenses in the operative eye.

During your pre-surgical consultation, your surgeon will provide you with more details regarding what to expect with the procedure and the healing period.

To schedule an appointment to determine if you qualify for CXL, call 215-339-8100 and ask for a corneal consultation for keratoconus with Dr. Brad H Feldman.

Contact us to learn more about our Custom Corneal Collagen Crosslinking procedure »

Four Convenient Locations

South Broad Street

1930 S. Broad St.
Philadelphia, PA 19145

Tel: (215) 339-8100 get directions

Allegheny Ave

2610 E Allegheny Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19134

Tel: (215) 423-5154 get directions

Wills eye Hospital

840 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107

Tel: (215) 339-8100 get directions

Wills Northeast Consultation Office

8025 Roosevelt Blvd.
Philadelphia, PA 19152

Tel: (215) 423-5154 get directions


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