Frequently Asked Questions and Answers
1. What is keratoconus?
2. What could be the cause of keratoconus?
It is impossible to identify the specific reasons for the occurrence of primary keratoconus; heredity, immune, endocrine factors, stress, and environmental influences may play a role. The process is chronic and usually affects both eyes.
3. Is it possible to simultaneously stop the development of keratoconus, steadily improve vision, prevent corneal transplant, and get rid of hard contact lenses?
Yes, there is a one-step therapeutic solution to the problem of keratoconus.
Ideally, surgical treatment of keratoconus includes:
- Individual remodeling of the cornea with stabilization of improved shape (controlled regression of disease)
which leads to
- Simultaneous improvement of vision, without any additional and subsequent interventions.
Both conditions are met by the special Artsybashev’s keratoconus method used in his Center.
4. What is unique of Dr. Artsybashev’s keratoconus method of diamond surgery?
Currently Dr. Artsybashev is the only eye surgeon who possesses the skills and more than 30 years of experience in the application of this method. He has performed over 1,000 such operations for keratoconus stages from I to IV.
Dr. Artsybashev developed the keratoconus method of diamond surgery on the basis of his experience with radial keratotomy and introduced it for the treatment of patients with keratoconus. In order to master this surgical technique and apply it to the treatment of keratoconus, he performed tens of thousands of refractive surgery aimed at correcting the optical functions of the cornea for patients with myopia (nearsightedness) and astigmatism, including the ultra-thin corneas.
5. What is the goal of Dr. Artsybashev’s surgery for keratoconus?
The goal of his one-step intervention is simultaneously to stop the disease process of keratoconus, improve vision (uncorrected visual acuity), and prevent corneal transplant.
6. What is the principle of Dr. Artsybashev’s operation for keratoconus?
Individually designed microincisions on the cornea cause a controlled redistribution of intraocular pressure from the diseased part of cornea to healthy or less involved parts. As a result of reduced stress, the diseased part of the cornea becomes capable of partial or complete recovery of its shape and functions. The shape of the cornea changes for the desired extent and in the right place. Thin scars that are out of the optical zone are formed by these microincisions. They perform skeletal
function, i.e. they contribute to the strengthening of the cornea and stopping the process of its protrusion and thinning.
7. What is the technique of Dr. Artsybashev’s keratoconus method of diamond surgery?
Dr. Artsybashev makes microincisions, calculated for each eye, using a special micrometric diamond knife and a microscope on the peripheral (non-optical) zone of the convex and thinning cornea. Special calculation programs are required for each operated eye, taking into account the individual characteristics of the cornea with keratoconus with emphasis on the irregular corneal thickness over its entire area. The operation lasts from 2 to 3 minutes per eye and uses only local anesthetic eye drops. Doctor Artsybashev’s surgical technique uses both hands equally, which is necessary for this kind of surgical intervention, as cuts by the diamond knife are performed by one hand on one half of the cornea. Followed by the other hand on the other half. He operates with individual tools that are made in Switzerland under special order. The ultra thin diamond knife has over 3 sides of sharpening
with the micrometric submission, they are visible only under an electronic microscope. An incision on the cornea is atraumatic, ultra thin, and can be seen only under high magnification. Healing after such an intervention is very fast because of the delicate and short-term mechanical effect on the corneal tissue.
Keratoconus method of diamond surgery is a modification of the classical method of radial keratotomy, developed by Academician Svyatoslav Fyodorov and successfully applied in the world for over 30 years including the present.
Keratoconus technique of diamond surgery differs from the classical radial keratotomy by providing a shorter duration of surgery, a gentle technique, and a lesser degree of trauma.
8. When should patients with keratoconus refer to Dr. Artsybashev?
Dr. Artsybashev operates patients with keratoconus stages from I to IV.
9. When will there be a noticeable effect of Dr. Artsybashev’s operation?
Patients usually notice improvement in vision the following day after surgery. The rehabilitation period, in which the improvement proceeds to its maximum possible level, may last from 6 months to 2 years and depends on the severity of the disease. Regression of keratoconus with improved vision after surgery faster occurs at the initial stages of the disease (I – II). There is technique of postoperative management of patients, which contributes to a better scarring of microincisions, maximum vision improvement, and stabilization of the cornea during the period of rehabilitation. It
is important to stay compliant with Dr. Artsybashev’s recommendations following surgery.
10. How stable are the results of Dr. Artsybashev’s surgery?
Keratoconus method of diamond surgery has long-term results for over 20 years.