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My Cross Linking Experience after Intacs

Posted: Tue 12 Jan 2010 12:13 pm
by ce2-batson
Hello Everyone. It has been a while since my last post which followed my Intacs surgery in December 2008 in Dubai.

Well since then I have moved back to UK (why? I hear you ask!!!) and was transferred from Moorfields Dubai by the lovely Dr Borsario to Moorfields UK (private) to the equally lovely Julian Stevens. I saw Julian early December and we discussed having CXL now that my eyes have stabilised following Intacs (1 year ago). He thought I would be a good candidate and recommended the procedure. He actually trained my surgeon in Dubai so I was happy that this was the way to go. He also took photos of my Intacs which he is going to send me, perhaps I can share them somewhere on here...he said that Dr Borsario did a FANTASTIC job on them, he was really quite excited!

Anyhow, the cost was £1400 for the surgeon plus £1800 for the hospital (some insurance will cover that part but not Axa PPP - dont even get me started on that). Alot of cash, but a worthwhile investment I hope.

Had the surgery last Friday. Could not wear eye makeup for 3 days before, or any makeup on the day. At the hospital I had my drops given me for afterwards by the nurse, and she gave me a nice colour coded 'timetable' of when to apply them. Then I was led on a patient bed, numbing drops applied, then Julian used an instrument to 'abrade' the epithileum - he does not remove it like some surgeons, but instead makes 14 small 'holes' in it. Supposedly this is less painful and reduces the risk of 'melting' etc. Very strange and unpleasant feeling, but over in 2 minutes. Then I was transferred to another room. By this point my vision is blurred and I feel a bit 'shocked'. I then lie on another bed and my eyes are clamped open. He then procedes to put Riboflavin drops in which turn the world yellow. He does this every 3 minutes for half an hour, along with more numbing drops and tears. Then a UV light is placed over my right eye for 30 minutes, all the while more Riboflavin is dropped in. After 30 minutes the light is moved to my left eye. Slightly uncomfortable with the clamp I have to say and strange sensation of the weight of the drops on your eyeball. He puts in a medical contact lens. Then its over. You get up, put your oversized Gucci shades on and leave. Who knew that snow could be so painful to the eyes!!! You need someone to take you home, feed you Gin and Tonics and prize open your eyes on the first day. Pain starts at about hour 2 after the surgery. Its probably as intense as Intacs for the first day, so my advice would be to take as many drugs as you can get your hands on - sleeping tablets etc. I slept for 18 hours that first 24 hours, rising only to drink more wine and put in drops. The numbing drops they give you take the pain away for about 45 minutes, after which time its back. The second day you can open your eyes a bit and your vision improves marginally. By Sunday things were looking much better and I was much less sensitive to the light. I took the contact lenses out too even though they were supposed to be in until Monday. I am contact lens intolerant anyway so was expecting this, it was just uncomfortable. By Monday most pain had subsided and I would say vision was about 70% of normal. Had my follow up at the hospital, all is well, vision is better than he expected, and I go back in 3 months.

Today, Im at about 80%. I can read emails etc, although I can feel already that my eyes are itching and getting tired. Gritty feeling in left eye, right eye feels fine although is a bit blurry. Julian expects vision to be 'normal' by about Thursday/Friday so I will be going back to work then. In the meantime treating myself to a haircut.....!

Will keep you all posted on the outcomes over the following months. I would recommend Julian if you live in the London area - he does all the sporting stars of the F1 world and various footballers, and if its good enough for them then its good enough for you and me. His staff also are genuinely excited to be working with him, which I think is a great sign. They are all really lovely and welcoming.

Hope this is helpful to those of you thinking about CXL, best of luck!


Re: My Cross Linking Experience after Intacs

Posted: Wed 13 Jan 2010 7:17 am
by Andrew MacLean
Thanks Charlene, that is really encouraging.

All the best


Re: My Cross Linking Experience after Intacs

Posted: Thu 14 Jan 2010 6:07 pm
by Sweet

That is a lovely positive post! Am so glad that everything has gone so well and that you coped with it. Hehe, being handed drinks sounded good to me!! LOL!!

I really hope that your eyes continue to heal well, I think it is a good investment as well. I have had a DALK, didn't really look into having intacs as my eye had so much scarring so it wouldn't have been successful I don't think.

Take care and let us know how you get on! Love Claire X x X

Re: My Cross Linking Experience after Intacs

Posted: Mon 25 Jan 2010 9:21 pm
by Carleen
Hi Charlene.
I read your post with much interest. I am new to the forum as I have a disabled daughter (30 but with the intellectual ability of an 18 month old but with no speech due to cerebal palsy) who has just been diagnosed with severe KC in her left eye after suffering from hydrops on Christmas eve. I have a post called Help Needed if you want more details. Anyway CXL is probably her only option at the present so I was very interested to read about your experience. Considering any kind of treatment for my daughter is always difficult as we have no idea how she feels, so reading about how you felt, post CXL, was very helpful. Anything else you can share with me about your treatment, how you felt, feel now and progress would be welcomed. We are having to fund our daughter's CXL treatment (if it is appropriate) privately as it is not available through the public health system in New Zealand. She would also need a general aneasthetic and hospitalization which further complicates matters - and adds a huge amount to the cost!!
Right now I am trying to educate myself as much as I can so I can ask intelligent questions when our round of private specialist appointments begin in March. I am seeing several so I can get a good range of opinions.
Good luck with your progess and thanks once again for sharing your experience with us. :)