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Home » Treatments » Keratoconus » Collagen Cross Linking

Collagen Cross Linking

This treatment halts the progression of Keratoconus and it is only required once to cause a permanent change.

Collagen Cross Linking


Collagen Cross Linking is the only treatment available that halts the progression of Keratoconus and partially reverses the corneal steepening caused by the disease. The first ever patient was successfully treated in 1998 and at AVC we have been performing Collagen Cross Linking treatment since 2007. We offer epithelium-off treatment, this is when a corneal flap is created in the thin outer layer (epithelium) of the cornea which allows the liquid Riboflavin (Vitamin B12) to more easily penetrate the corneal tissue whilst being exposed to UV light. This non invasive procedure eliminates the need for a corneal graft and also can correct some of the patients prescription.

The progression of Keratoconus is halted through the process of photopolymerisation which is caused by the addition of Riboflavin under UV light, this leads to oxygen radicals enabling for the development of strong collagen bonds.

This technique strengthens the chemical bonds in the cornea which increases the thickness and stabilises the cornea, consequently stopping the progression of the disease. Treatment is only required once to cause a permanent change.

To be suitable for Collagen Cross Linking, your Keratoconus must be progressive but not too advanced that a corneal graft is required and you must be over the age of 18. Suitability for treatment will be determined by your surgeon after comprehensive testing at your consultation.

Mr Pillai is a corneal specialist and has been performing Collagen Cross Linking treatment at Advanced Vision Care since 2007.

  • Non-surgical procedure that is completely non-invasive
  • Treatment is internationally recognised and carried out in over 500 clinics globally
  • Will prevent the need for a corneal graft
  • Collagen Cross Linking stabilises the fibres within the cornea to strengthen its integrity and halt the progression of the disease
  • Treatment is only required once to cause a permanent change

Each eye is treated individually with a gap of a week. This corneal Keratoconus treatment is non-invasive and takes approximately 60 minutes per eye.

  • Anaesthetic drops are used to numb the eye.
  • Eye lid guard used to prevent blinking.
  • A weak alcohol solution is used to soften the upper epithelial cells which are then gently removed manually by our surgeon.
  • A Riboflavin (Vitamin B2) solution is dropped into the surface of the eye.
  • The eye is exposed to a small amount of UV light.
  • The process of adding drops and exposure to UV light is repeated.
  • A protective contact lens is placed in the eye until the first post-operative check.
  • Our specialist nurse will go through the precautions and medications that are needed to aid your recovery.
  • Your first post-operative check will take place 4 days after treatment.

On the day that you will receive this form of Keratoconus treatment at our UK clinic, you will be provided with an eye cover for the treated eye, anti-inflammatory, antibiotic and hydrating drops. You will be advised when to take the drops. At the first post-operative check 4 to 5 days after treatment our surgeon will examine the treated eye and remove the protective lens.

The recovery period can take up to a week and some discomfort may be experienced for 2 to 3 days after treatment. Patients will suffer from dry eyes whilst the cornea heals. This is completely normal and is part of the natural healing process. Visual fluctuations can last between 1 to 3 months: once the prescription stabilises new glasses and contact lenses can be fitted.

However, small fluctuations in vision can still occur up to six months after treatment. Patients are required to attend regular post-operative checks throughout the year. These can be conducted at our AVC Keratoconus clinic or at one of our optometrist network partners from 3 months onwards.

After treatment, you can return to normal life, however there are restrictions on certain activities and these will be discussed at your consultation. Patients can usually start driving once the prescription has stabilised and they have new glasses or contact lenses. If Kerasoft lenses are used the amount of time can be reduced to 5 to 10 days.

Why Chose AVC for a Collagen Cross Linking treatment?


First Class Treatments

We are leading providers in treatments for Keratoconus and offer complete visual rehabilitation for sufferers of the disease. We provide bespoke treatments that are tailormade to correct the visual impairment caused by Keratoconus, these treatments can halt the progression, make contact lens wear more comfortable and there are also procedures that provide total vision correction.

First Class Services

AVC provide all patients with the best care and results, constantly surpassing expectations. For the convenience of our patients, all our bespoke treatments are under one roof and everyone has access to the largest independent optometrist network in the country, meaning you can enjoy incredible aftercare at a more convenient location.

First Class Surgeons

Advanced Vision Care’s Medical Director and lead surgeon, Dr CT Pillai, is one of the few surgeons in the country that has both a corneal and refractive fellowship. He has over 25 years of experience as an ophthalmic surgeon and his expertise in the field of corneal abnormalities is highly sought after.

"Having worn glasses and contact lenses for many years, my new lenses have given me such freedom and I feel very privileged to have had the opportunity to have this procedure."

Anne Brown

"I now have 20/20 sight (from approx. -8.00) and am extremely happy.
A big thank you to everyone at Advanced Vision Care."

Phil Scott

"My vision has improved by the day. I have so much more confidence in myself and it’s all thanks to the surgery and people behind it. I could not be more happier."

Marium Hussain

"I couldn’t have picked a better clinic to take care of me and my eyes, and would like to thank everyone of you for making this happen. I have been recommending AVC even before the surgery and will continue to do so."

Sinduja Chandrapalan

"I didn’t think at 70 that I’d be able to see, thread a needle and doing all the things… without putting my glasses on. Best thing that I’ve ever done! I would definitely recommend AVC to anyone interested in vision correction of any kind."

Barbara Rouvray

See the world as it's meant to be seen.

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