INTACS® Corneal Implants

INTACS® inserts are corneal implants used to correct nearsightedness (myopia) and the effects of keratoconus.

What is Myopia (nearsightedness)?

Myopia vision diagramMyopia is caused by the eyeball being too long.  This elongated shape changes the focal point of light rays entering the eye, causing them to converge to a point in front of the retina in the back of the eye, instead of directly on the retina.  Myopia, a refractive error, can be corrected by altering the steepness of the cornea.

What is Keratoconus?

Keratoconus is a disease that causes progressive thinning of the cornea.  This abnormality in the corneal thickness distorts its shape and causes a cone-like bulge in the cornea.  This bulging shape changes the eye’s refractive error, causing nearsightedness.

How do INTACS® work?

INTACS® implants are surgically implanted through tiny tunneling incisions at the edge of the cornea.  The two crescent-shaped implants flatten the cornea, causing the light rays to now focus directly onto the retina, rather than in front of it.  This refractive correction may restore functional vision and postpone the need for corneal transplant surgery in keratoconus patients.

Intacs corneal ringsThe INTACS® corneal implants can be removed if needed.

Who’s a candidate?
Those eligible for INTACS®:

  • Over 21 years of age
  • Have keratoconus
  • Have mild myopia with no more than one diopter of astigmatism
  • Have a stable, non-changing refractive error

What are the benefits of INTACS® for keratoconus?

  • Safe, removable, replaceable

  • Improves functional vision

  • Reshapes the cornea to a more natural dome shape

  • Restores contact lens tolerance

  • Reduces myopia and astigmatism

  • Minimally invasive surgical procedure

  • Short recovery period

  • May defer the need for corneal transplant


The INTACS® procedure provides the keratoconus patient with the ability to achieve improved functional vision with contact lenses and glasses, and may defer a corneal transplant.

How is Keratoconus treated?

A closer look at keratoconus

Keratoconus affects the cornea, the clear front portion of the eye, potentially presenting as:

  • Corneal thinning
  • Progressive corneal bulging into a cone-like shape
  • Impaired vision
  • Discomfort in contact lenses dueto irregular corneal shape
  • Inadequate visual acuity withglasses and contact lenses
  • Frequent prescription changes

Keratoconus is estimated to affect one in 2,000 people

Affects all ethnicities & both genders

First diagnosed in young people at puberty or in their late teens and progressive until the 3rd – 4th decade

Keratoconus treatments



  • Rigid contact lenses (RGPs)
    When traditional lenses cannot be used due to
    keratoconus progression, RGPs may be sized for a
    proper fit to maintain adequate vision and
  • Corneal collagen cross-linking.


  • Intacs® corneal implants
    Used to reshape cornea without removing corneal
    tissue and provide functional vision with the help
    of soft lenses/glasses. Defers corneal transplants.
  • Corneal collagen cross-linking.

LATE STAGE:  Corneal transplant
Keratoconic cornea is replaced with healthy
donor corneal tissue sourced from a regional eye
bank. Typically requires 12 to 18 months for visual
rehabilitation before stabilizing and can last 10
to 15 years.

Common questions about INTACS® for Tampa surgeon Craig Berger, MD

While many insurers may reimburse for treating keratoconus, it may still be necessary to work with your physician to supply your insurance company with further information. OASIS Medical is dedicated to providing continual education to insurers on the Intacs® procedure.

Consult with your eye care doctor to determine this. Patients who have had the most benefit from INTACS® have been diagnosed with keratoconus, are 21 years old or over, have minimal thinning (no less than 450 microns thick), do not have corneal scarring, and are interested in an alternative to corneal transplant to improve functional vision.

No. There is no current cure for keratoconus. Intacs® can reshape and stabilize irregular corneas to improve functional vision and make contact lens wearing tolerable. It may delay the need for a corneal transplant.

The INTACS®procedure usually takes about 20 minutes. They are removable and placement can be adjusted if needed.

Generally non-contact physical activities within one month are safe. It is recommended that each patient consult with his/her eye care doctor regarding post-op care specific to the patient’s customized procedure.

INTACS® was granted approval under the FDA Humanitarian Use Device Exemption (HDE) in 2004.