CXL+PRK refers to a combined treatment approach that involves Collagen Cross-Linking (CXL) followed by Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK). This combined procedure is used to address both corneal irregularities, such as those found in keratoconus or corneal ectasia, and refractive errors like myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), and astigmatism.

Procedure Overview:
  • Collagen Cross-Linking (CXL):
    In the first step, Collagen Cross-Linking is performed to strengthen the cornea. This involves the application of riboflavin (vitamin B2) eye drops followed by exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light. The UV light activates the riboflavin, leading to the formation of additional cross-links between collagen fibers in the cornea, which helps to stabilize the cornea and prevent further thinning or bulging.
  • Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK):
    After the CXL procedure, once the cornea has stabilized, Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK) is performed to reshape the cornea and correct refractive errors. PRK involves the removal of the corneal epithelium (outer layer) and the use of an excimer laser to reshape the underlying corneal tissue based on the patient's specific refractive error.
Benefits of CXL+PRK:
  • Comprehensive Treatment: CXL addresses the underlying corneal irregularities and stabilizes the cornea, while PRK corrects refractive errors, providing a comprehensive treatment approach.
  • Stabilization of Cornea: CXL helps to halt the progression of conditions such as keratoconus or corneal ectasia, preventing further deterioration of vision.
  • Improved Visual Acuity: PRK corrects refractive errors, allowing patients to achieve clearer vision without the need for glasses or contact lenses.
  • Minimally Invasive: Both CXL and PRK are minimally invasive procedures with relatively short recovery times.
  • Preservation of Corneal Tissue: PRK involves reshaping the cornea by removing only a thin layer of tissue, preserving more corneal tissue compared to LASIK, which involves creating a corneal flap.