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ICRS: Intracorneal ring segments or INTACS

ring segments

eye with ring segments

Ring segments are micro-thin plastic rings that are inserted into the peripheral cornea. These rings mechanically flatten the central cornea to correct nearsightedness. Currently, up to -3.00 diopters of nearsightedness can be corrected with INTACS. Astigmatism cannot currently be treated. Research is underway to expand the range of what the rings can correct. The rings are inert and are meant to be left in place permanently.

One advantage of the rings is that they are removable, should the patient find they are unsatisfactory. The rings also offer the possibility of allowing a person to remove the rings at a later date, and switch to technology not-presently available that may better suit the person's visual needs.

Most often, the patient's prescription goes back to what it was before the rings were inserted. Visual recovery is a bit slower than with LASIK, but excellent visual results have been obtained. Theoretically, the inserts leave the cornea in its natural "prolate" shape, perhaps giving patients better quality vision than current laser vision correction procedures provide. It may be safer than LASIK because no incision crosses the center of the cornea.

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