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Keratoconus Treatment Recovery

The skilled surgeons at TLC Laser Eye Centers offer both corneal ring insert and corneal cross-linking procedures to treat keratoconus, a condition in which the cornea protrudes outward, affecting visual acuity. Patient education is essential to the success of these treatments, and you can depend on our surgeons to help you understand what to expect during keratoconus treatment recovery when you visit our Toronto, ON-area practice.

Corneal Ring Insert Surgery Aftercare

Immediately after your corneal ring insert procedure, which usually takes less than 20 minutes, you will rest for awhile before having a friend or loved one drive you home. You will not feel the presence of the ring segments. Many patients experience sharper vision the day after surgery. In general, you should plan to rest for a few days following the procedure.

man and woman on sailboat on water

Proper aftercare can help you experience the best possible benefits of keratoconus treatment.

Corneal Cross-linking Aftercare

The corneal cross-linking procedure can strengthen collagen fibers and stabilize the cornea with the use of topical riboflavin and ultraviolet light. Some progressive cases of keratoconus warrant the combination of both cross-linking and corneal implants for the best treatment outcome. 

The cross-linking procedure is generally low-risk, but the treated eye can be painful for three to five days after surgery. Right after your procedure, a soft bandage contact lens is inserted that should be worn until the epithelium stabilizes, which can take about five days. Your doctor will prescribe an antibiotic drop for the first five days and a steroid drop to be used for two weeks. You may also use artificial tears as needed.

Patient education is essential to the success of these treatments, and you can depend on our surgeons to help you understand what to expect during keratoconus treatment recovery.

Vision is typically blurred during the first month after surgery. Eventually, the corneal surface becomes smoother and vision becomes clearer. There may be a delay in corneal epithelium (outer layer) healing in some cases, but your surgeon will monitor your progress to ensure this does not result in complications. The risk of post-surgery infection is also rare because the ultraviolet light kills bacteria. 

You should not work or drive for at least a week after your procedure. Patients often experience severe light sensitivity after treatment, and we ask that you consult your general medical care provider before resuming any physical activities or sports. You can start wearing contact lenses two weeks after surgery, but if you have never worn contact lenses before, your doctor may recommended you wait at least one month.

In very rare cases, patients may experience some loss of vision as a result of haze, infection, or other complications, but this can often be reversed with a corneal transplant.

Contact your doctor immediately if you notice:

  • Irregular eye discharge, redness, or swelling
  • Excessive eye pain or headaches
  • Sudden decline in vision acuity

Learn More about Post-surgery Care

We do everything we can to ensure the success of our procedures and help you get back to your normal routine as quickly as possible. We make sure you know what to expect in each phase of treatment, and provide you with all necessary eye drops and instructions post-surgery. We will also schedule follow-up appointments up to six months after surgery to monitor your progress. Please contact us to learn more about keratoconus treatment and post-surgical aftercare.