Questions to Ask your Ophthalmologist

OphthalmologistWhen speaking with your Ophthalmologist about Lasik and Lasik Xtra it will be helpful to review the following:

  • Your candidacy for refractive correction
  • The potential benefits and risks of both procedures
  • Pre and post operative preparations and considerations
  • Recovery

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is cross-linking?

A. Cross-linking is a medical procedure that combines the use of ultra-violet light and riboflavin eye drops to add biomechanical strength to the cornea.

Q. What is Xtra?

A. Xtra is a 3 minute corneal cross-linking procedure performed in conjunction with Lasik.

Q. Are there any safety concerns regarding the use of ultra-violet light or riboflavin in the eye?

A. The ultraviolet A light exposure during a Xtra procedure is comparable to, or even less than, the exposure of the eye to the ultraviolet light in sunlight for one full day outdoors in the summer. Riboflavin, also known as Vitamin B2, is naturally occurring in the body, including the eye. It is a photosensitizer that has been safely used in corneal cross-linking procedures for over a decade. Riboflavin is non-toxic and it is used as an additive in food and pharmaceuticals.

Q. How does Xtra work?

A. After completion of a standard Lasik procedure, a few drops of riboflavin are applied to the cornea and then the riboflavin is exposed to ultraviolet A light. The light activates the riboflavin, which leads to the formation of chemical bonds between collagen molecules. These bonds strengthen the cornea.

Q. Are there any age limits for Xtra?

A. Patients that are good candidates for Lasik are generally eligible for Lasik Xtra. Consult your eye care professional to learn whether Xtra is right for you.

Q. Does Xtra require the epithelium to be removed?

A. No. During a standard Lasik procedure, a flap is made in the cornea. This flap allows the cross-linking portion of Lasik Xtra to be performed without epithelial removal.

Q. Will the addition of Xtra to my Lasik procedure affect my Lasik recovery or visual outcome in any way?

A. You should expect no change in your Lasik recovery or visual outcome from Lasik as a result of Xtra.

Q. Can Xtra be combined with other refractive treatments?

A. Yes, Xtra can be combined with PRK. Consult with your ophthalmologist to determine if cross-linking is best for you in conjunction with these other procedures.

Q. Is Xtra the same as the corneal cross-linking used for conditions like keratoconus?

A. Generally yes. Corneal cross-linking, with slightly different procedure treatment parameters (longer time, higher power, etc.) than Lasik Xtra, may be combined with corneal rings, phakic lens implants, refractive lens exchange, and to directly treat keratoconus.

Q. I’ve already had Lasik, can I have the Xtra procedure?

A. Yes, in most instances Xtra can be performed at any time after having a Lasik procedure, even years later. Your ophthalmologist also may recommend Xtra in conjunction with a Lasik enhancement if one is required.

Q. Are there any limitations or restrictions as to what I can do after Xtra?

A. The only limitations are those your doctor recommends following standard Lasik, there are no special, separate recommendations regarding Xtra.

Q. Can anyone tell by my appearance that I have had Xtra?

A. No. An eye treated with Xtra cannot be differentiated from the normal appearance of an eye treated with Lasik only.

Q. How many people have undergone a Xtra procedure?

A. More than 50,000 Xtra procedures have been performed throughout Europe, North America, Latin America, the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Australia. Xtra is beginning clinical studies in the United States but is not currently approved for use there.

Q. Can both eyes receive Xtra?

A. Yes.