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The KAMRA corneal inlay is a tiny ring-shaped device that is placed securely within the cornea of one (the non-dominant) eye. The KAMRA corneal inlay works like a pinhole camera to allow the eye to have a greater depth of focus. It lets only focused light in through the center of the inlay. The inlay is only placed in one eye, and the other eye maintains distance vision. Your two eyes work together to be able to see both near and far objects clearly.

The procedure is a two-step process. The first step is similar to that of LASIK; a small pocket is created in the cornea using a laser. Then, the KAMRA inlay is gently placed into the opening; the pocket self-seals. See “What to Expect” below for more details and view the animation below.


Smaller and thinner than the average contact lens, the KAMRA corneal inlay is only 3.8 mm in diameter with a 1.6 mm central opening (pinhole). Surrounding the pinhole in the center, are 8,400 microscopic openings to allow oxygen and other nutrients to flow naturally through the eye.

  • How it Works
  • What to Expect
  • The Recovery

How it Works

During an in-office procedure, the inlay is implanted into the cornea of the non-dominant eye, several layers above the pupil. This device takes advantage of the same “pinhole effect” that is used in photography to create a greater depth of focus. The small opening in the corneal inlay only allows focused light to enter the eye, improving near vision.

What to Expect

On the day of your procedure, the doctor will add numbing drops to keep you comfortable, but you will remain awake and alert throughout the procedure. Only one eye will need numbing drops, since the inlay is inserted into the non-dominant eye only. Once the eye is numb, the doctor will use a laser to create a small flap in the first few layers of the cornea, the outer layer of the eye. You may feel slight pressure, but the procedure is virtually painless. The doctor then inserts the inlay into the flap and centers it over the pupil. The entire process takes less than 20 minutes.

The Recovery

As with any surgery, there is a recovery period involved. Each case is unique so it is critical to listen to your doctor and follow their instructions to promote quick healing. Be sure to finish any medications, including artificial tears, which you should use as your doctor recommends. It is also critical to keep your follow-up appointments to be sure your procedure is progressing as expected. Immediately after your surgery, you will not be permitted to drive, so be sure to have someone with you at your procedure. Most patients resume normal activity and return to work within 24 to 48 hours. Your doctor will tell you not to wear your reading glasses in order to enhance recovery and near vision improvement.

Your vision may fluctuate for the first three to six months as your brain adjusts to your new vision, but will stabilize. Although some patients report no need for glasses after the insertion of the inlay, others must still use reading glasses in some cases such as in low light or if print is very small. If there are any problems with your KAMRA corneal inlay, it can be safely removed. After removal, patients normally return to the same vision they had prior to the insertion of the inlay.

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