What Is the Corneal Inlay Procedure?
We’ve been performing the Corneal Inlay Procedure for a while now, but many people are still not entirely sure what it is, what it treats, how it works and if it is any different than LASIK. If you have the same questions, read on. ESPECIALLY if you are over 40 and not loving those reading glasses you now have to wear, take off, put back on, lose, replace and put on again…
What Does the Corneal Inlay Procedure Treat?
While LASIK treats nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism, the Corneal Inlay Procedure treats presbyopia – the scientific name for the frustrating “over-40” vision issues that come with age. It causes a loss of near vision, making it difficult to read or see anything up close. Traditionally, the only way to treat this condition was reading glasses…fun, right?
However, take heart, today, things are different. Thanks to the advent of the Corneal Inlay Procedure.
What Exactly is a Corneal Inlay?
The corneal inlay is a 3.8-mm disc with a 1.6-mm central opening…like a tiny, flat donut and with 8,400 microscopic holes.
The disc is covered in microscopic holes to allow oxygen and nutrients to pass through the disc. The entire inlay weighs less than a single grain of salt and cannot be seen with the naked eye once inserted.
The inlay employs the same principle as the pinhole in a camera lens, allowing only focused light to pass through the hole to the lens of the eye.
How Does the Procedure Work?
The Corneal Inlay Procedure is performed in the same outpatient setting as LASIK – an in-office, window-surrounded suite. It involves the same laser as LASIK to complete the initial step – creating a tiny pocket in the cornea for the inlay to be gently inserted.
The entire procedure takes less than 20 minutes, and you’ll be given numbing drops and a mild oral sedative beforehand. The procedure only involves one (non-dominant) eye. The other eye is left alone so that you can retain distance vision while improving near vision. The eyes will work together naturally to obtain great vision at multiple distances.
How Long Until I See Results?
Every patient is different, and as with any surgery, healing is a process. You will be given postoperative instructions to accelerate your progress. Most patients have reported being able to resume their normal activities, including returning to work, within 24 to 48 hours. However, in some cases, it may take a few weeks for your vision to adjust fully.