• Barraquer Eye Hospital (Barcelona, Spain) - Ophthalmology Center
  • Barraquer Eye Hospital (Barcelona, Spain) - Ophthalmology Center

KERATOCONUS TREATMENT OPTIONS AT BARRAQUER EYE HOSPITAL (BARCELONA. SPAIN)

Barraquer Eye Hospital (Barcelona, Spain) is a world reference in keratoconus treatments.

Early detection of keratoconus can prevent very advanced cases that may require a corneal transplant.

Before considering a corneal transplant, keratoconus can be treated by two minimally invasive surgical techniques: corneal crosslinking (CXL or collagen crosslinking) and intracorneal annular segments (Keraring or SAI).

According to recent studies, modern surgeries to stop the progression of keratoconus are successful in 95% of the patients treated and improve their vision in many cases.

In severe keratoconus cases, the only solution is a corneal transplant (keratoplasty). Barraquer is the first reference hospital for corneal transplants, performing more than 300 transplants a year. It owns the first eye bank in Europe.

Professor Rafael Barraquer (keratoconus specialist) has been appointed in 2017 President of EVER (European Association for Vision and Eye Research).

FAQ about keratoconus treatments at Barraquer Eye Hospital:

Keratoconus is caused by a thinning of the central area of the cornea, whose usual spherical shape becomes a cone, causing irregular astigmatism that distorts the images and decreases vision. Keratoconus causes myopia and astigmatism and blurred visual distortion. The patient who suffers from keratoconus may have difficulty performing activities such as driving, writing, reading or watching television.
Keratoconus can develop only in one eye or in both eyes at a time, although it is almost always bilateral (affecting both eyes).

Keratoconus treatment will depend on the degree of evolution in which the disease is.

At present, there is no total cure for keratoconus. The usual treatments manage rather to slow or slow their evolution.
Early detection of keratoconus can prevent very advanced cases that may require a corneal transplant (it is the first cause of transplantation in young patients).

In mild cases, good vision can be achieved with glasses or rigid contact lenses.
These lenses flatten the cornea and return it (up to a certain point) to its correct position.

In cases where the use of glasses or lenses is not enough and a surgical treatment is necessary, Barraquer Eye Hospital (Barcelona, Spain) has effectively developed less aggressive modern techniques that avoid penetrating keratoplasty (corneal transplantation).

Corneal crosslinking (CXL or collagen crosslinking) is usually indicated in the early stages of keratoconus disease or as a complement to the rings (Keraring / SAI). Corneal crosslinking offers a high success rate, preventing keratoconus from advancing and improving corneal regularity. This technique is widely developed in Barraquer Eye Hospital. It is simple, safe and effective. It consists of the administration of a few drops of vitamin on the surface of the cornea and its subsequent exposure to a low-power ultraviolet light that causes a chemical reaction that increases the stiffness of the cornea, weakened by keratoconus.

The procedure lasts approximately 1 hour. It is not painful. It is performed with topical anesthesia. It is an outpatient procedure that does not require an overnight stay in the hospital. The post-operative period is usually a little annoying the first 3 or 4 days. The use of contact lenses helps to reduce these discomforts.

Another modern technique is implants of “intraestromal rings” or intracorneal annular segments (Keraring or SAI). These are pieces of rigid transparent plastic (PMMA), in the form of an arch, that are introduced into the thickness of the cornea. The SAIs reduce the topographical irregularity and off-centring caused by the cone, while flattening the center of the cornea. Keraring / SAI surgery lasts 15 to 20 minutes. It is performed with topical anesthesia. As in the case of crosslinking, it is an outpatient procedure that does not require an overnight stay in the hospital.

The effect of the rings on the corneal deformation can be long, sometimes months. Thus, it is normal for visual recovery to be slow. It is a reversible surgical procedure and can be combined with corneal crosslinking.

In the most severe cases, when vision has been reduced significantly, the only solution is keratoplasty or corneal transplantation.
It is applied when visual impairment is irreversible and keratoconus cannot be corrected with other procedures. At present, the transplant can be performed, in many cases, by selectively replacing the affected layers of the cornea and preserving the healthy tissue.
During a corneal transplant, the surgeon removes the diseased cornea from the eye and replaces it with the healthy cornea of a donor.
At the international level, Barraquer Eye Hospital stands out as the first reference center for corneal transplants, performing 300 transplants a year. It owns the first eye bank in Europe.

Patients with Intracorneal Rings get better visual acuity than before surgery because they keep the central area of the cornea intact and transparent.

The rings prevent or slow the progression of keratoconus by avoiding a corneal transplant. They improve tolerance to contact lenses.

The Keraring / SAI technique allows quick visual rehabilitation. It is a low invasive procedure that allows patients to return to their daily activity in 48-72 hours under normal conditions. Corneal stabilization ends at 12 weeks.

It is a reversible technique. If the rings are removed, the cornea remains as it was initially.

If the patient has keratoconus in its early stages, Crosslinking is a good option that can slow the development of keratoconus and prevent its evolution in the future. It can improve visual acuity as it produces a slight diopter reduction.
Specialists in Barraquer recommend crosslinking in patients with keratoconus who do not tolerate contact lenses. It can flatten the cornea and make it easier to wear contact lenses.

According to recent studies, modern surgeries to stop the progression of keratoconus are successful in 95% of the patients treated and improve their vision in many cases.

Keratoconus surgery cost depends on many factors. We would be delighted to answer your query. Please, fill in this form. If you have any medical reports or examination results from other centres, we would appreciate it if you could send these tests to us by email so we can offer you the solution that best suits your needs.

You can be sure that this information will always be treated with the maximum confidentiality.

Qualified personnel are placed at your disposal and they will advise you in your language and accompany you during all the hospital process. In case the doctor does not speak your language, a personal interpreter can accompany you throughout all your visits.

Both surgeries, corneal crosslinking or ring implants (Keraring / SAI) are surgeries that do not require medical hospitalization at Barraquer Eye Hospital. They are performed with topical anesthesia.
However, if a corneal transplant is performed, the patient should remain for two or three days in the clinic.

The average length of stay in Barcelona (Spain) after crosslinking or ring surgery (Keraring / SAI) is 10 days, depending on the patient’s progress.
In cases of corneal transplantation the patient’s stay in Barcelona will be between 15 and 30 days.

Best keratoconus specialists at Barraquer Eye Hospital (Barcelona, Spain):

Doctor Rafael I. Barraquer

Doctor Rafael I. Barraquer

Specialist in cataract surgery, glaucoma, corneal transplant, refractive surgery and anterior segment of the eye
Doctor Juan P. Alvarez de Toledo Elizalde

Doctor Juan P. Alvarez de Toledo Elizalde

Specialist in anterior segment of the eye and refractive surgery
Doctor José Lamarca Mateu

Doctor José Lamarca Mateu

Specialist in refractive surgery, dry eye and keratoconus

Do you want more information about keratoconus treatments at Barraquer Eye Hospital?

You can also contact us on WhatsApp or Viber at +34 657 460 421.

If you want a quote, please send a recent medical report.

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Barraquer Ophthalmology Center Barcelona Spain Barraquer eye hospital Barcelona Spain

Barraquer Eye Hospital

Carrer de Muntaner, 314, 08021 Barcelona (Spain)

Nearest Metro Stations:: Muntaner/ Gràcia

Barraquer Ophthalmology Center Barcelona Spain Barraquer eye hospital Barcelona Spain