INTACs on left eye

Yesterday, in July I have had my first INTAC surgery on my left eye. I was seen at the centre for sight.

The centre is a modern, smart building; expected from a private health clinic. Compared to the Old Queen Victoria hospital it was a palace (No offence QVH).

I arrived at the centre and waited around an hour or so whilst other procedures were underway. It was quite nerve racking, waiting, as for any procedure, but the staff were lovely and I tend to take more serious procedures a lot more in my stride (I’m one of those people who worry about the little things rather than the big things), so the time went relatively quickly.

Eventually, I was called in to measure my prescription in the left eye, which was found to have changed or be quite a bit different from previous.

The nurses then administered eye drops, gave me some tablets (which I later found out to be diazepam!) and popped two plastic bags on my shoes for hygiene purposes. I was then ushered into the theatre.

The room was dark and, unsurprisingly, kitted out like the engineering room on a spaceship. A tv sat on the wall for HD viewing of my eyeball, large touchscreen monitor was being prodded by a member of staff and the bed and laser/ unknown medical stuff sat in the middle. The nurses helped me on to the bed and then lay me down, popped some foam triangle under my knees for comfort and adjusted my position on the bed.

I was then ready for the procedure. My eyeball was marked with a pen (non permanent I suppose) to measure some positioning. The next thing was that some kind of device was attached to my eye: I believe it was to keep the eye open, but it was much more comfortable than any of those clamps used in the C3R I had; it seemed spherical somehow, lain on top of my eye. Then I was told I would feel some pressure on the eye from this; I did, but it wasn’t anything to be afraid of. A bit more pressure, but still not too bad, and I was moved to under two rings of white lights. Again, as in the C3R, i felt a little like I was on an alien autopsy bench. I was told to look at the centre of this, and then was advised no talking or moving. They said the laser was about to start: “Eight seconds,” they said. “Five…done.”
Was that it? I thought. And it was- the laser had made the channel in my eye in a matter of moments. Part one over.

The next step was for the surgeons to insert the INTACs. It was a strange sensation; someone tugging at your eye; blurry images of tools performing the surgery on your eye. But there was very little pain; only a couple of times I felt a twinge, but nothing more than say, a pin prick, and the sensation of someone snipping something once or twice, which I can only think was the sealing of the channels.

After about 30 minutes it was all done. I was sat down and given goggles to put on. My wife practically pee#d herself when she saw me emerge, looking like an Olympic swimmer:

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After twenty minutes of rest on a chair, it was time to go. I was given three bottles of drops: one to be administered 4x a day, the other 2 every 2 hours with 5 minutes eye shut; this to be continued for a month. I was also given a transparent eye guard to be worn on my eye at night and instructions:

No exercise
No showering for 2 days
No itching the eye

I left feeling reasonably happy, in only a small amount of pain at the time, but with no usable vision in the left eye after the process at all. Still, it was only a few hours after process as I wrote this, cyclops-like with my screen magnified to maximum. I can’t imagine working with one eye! But fortunately, I have a week through work of self- certification sick leave/ medical leave, and was advised to take whilst this heals, and to get rest. I slept with the eye patch, like a transparent pirate patch:

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The next day (today) I had a checkup. I couldn’t see anything other than a big blur. I had the usual eye tests – more than pointless:
“What can you see?
“Nothing.”

“I’ll put that down as no vision then.” the nurse said.
Interestingly, using the pinhole device I could see a little. So at least wearing pinhole glasses will be an option for the time being I suppose, if not ideal and not amazing.

Not too helpfully for my confidence, a man who had INTACs just before me yesterday came in for his check up. “It’s great isn’t it? I can see perfectly!” He said.
“I can’t see anything!” I replied, my heart sinking. What was it with me? It always seems to be me. If there’s anything that could go wrong, the chances are it would happen to me.

So that didn’t help. But then everyone is different, I guess, and everyone heals in their own way. Mine just seems to take longer!

Anyway, soon after I saw the consultants who operated on me. They advised my eye seems a little too stretched now, like a drum (fon’t tell Phil Collins, he’d have a field day). They said it should be a flatness of 40 and mine is 20, whatever that means! That, combined with the post- op recovery is probably the reason for my lack of sight. They didn’t seem too concerned I had all the vision of a mole looking through a kaleidoscope, and advised me that in a week it should stabilise a bit and then the eye’s tissues will give a bit all being well, and then the sight should improve.

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Eye post-surgery; nice eye, shame about the sight

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Regardless, it didn’t make me feel much better given the experience of the other patient, bouncing off the walls – though I was pleased for him, don’t get me wrong- but as you can imagine I’m a bit worried right now it will make everything worse, not better! As I type this it’s a bit of a struggle, and I am off work for a week so it will be interesting to see how I get on the next few days and then going back to work next week. I am sleeping and resting as much as I can, putting in my regimen of drops every 2 hours for 15 minutes, and generally bumping into things.

Update

After my initial operation, I had a very difficult week or so off work, where my eyesight was very, very blurry and every time I tried to eep both eyes open aty once I felt very sick, as if my brain couldn’t match up the images feeding through my head! I went back to the hospitaltwo days earlier than planned.

I was at the hospital for most of the mornign as more tests were done. I was prett yemotional, as you can expect, given tha most of the blurb online was that by this point I should be seeing a great benefit to my vision.

I met with two consultants, including Mr Lake, the main consultant. He advised me again that the eye had been stretched a little too much so far, but that, in a funny sort of way, that was better, because as my eye shifts in the next 3 months or so, this gives it more leeway. They took my topography again and, more positively, my cornea had shifted to 33/-33 (I forget which) diopters – the normal eye is 45-ish diopters, so to go from 20 to 33 is quite a shift in 5 days. They assured me that whatever hapens, they can adjust the INTACS with different sizes of plastic, remove them, or make new channels, but it was important not to panic. I was advised I can wear a patch over my eye if it caused too much visual aberrations, and I could build up my contact lens wear again slowlynow it was healing.

So that  was that. For the last 3 weeks I have been wearing my eye patch most of the day, and slowly increasing my lenses at night. To my extreme relief, my contact lenses make it tolerable to seen with both eyes, and so I have been wearing them where I can. There are some downsides, as the pain wearing them after the op is quite bad, but I hope this will subside as time goes on.

So, in short, it’s a waiting game, until my eyes stop shifting, and when a new subscription can be given for my lenses. I have a check up soon, so we will see what that brings!

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35 thoughts on “INTACs on left eye

    • Hi kirsten thanks for posting. Sorry to have made you nervous! I am having trouble finding lenses that fit my eye post op. That being said I would still have had it done if I had the chance again as its better than the alternative. I am sure you will be fine. Can I ask how long you have had keratoconus and your visual level?

      • I recently had intac surgry on my right eye doctor put one round intac .. since the surgry done its been 3 weeks i really dont see big change i am bit in stress i contac my doctor have appoitment next week but i cant figure why still my eye is blur or it might take more time i been treated almost same like martin case please reply if you guys face same issue

    • Thank you for sharing your experience , I’m actually having Intac surgery fairly soon (2wks) & was reading different articles/blogs of others whom share my story of having KERATOCONUS… Reading your story makes me have mixed emotions about the entire procedure, though I pray I heal FAST & my VISION IMPROVES!! Thank you again for sharing!!

  1. I am 39 and I started getting blurry vision about April of this year. Finally found out in July as it quickly progressed in to double and then triple vision in the left eye that KC is what I had. I am still 20/20 in right eye. Left is about 20/80 and still changing.Hoping that I’ll be able to halt progression and be able to wear soft lenses or even glasses after the procedures.

    • I hope that the operation goes smoothly for you.

      I have had a bad couple of years with this condition, but despite it I still remain hopeful for the future. There are still options open and more advances are being made all the time, so try not to lose hope. Easy to say to stay positive, as it can be difficult, but I find that a good network of support at home and work makes all the difference.

      All the best

      Alex

  2. Hi, found your blog via googles while researching. I’m have intacs for my keratoconus next month. I’m nervous but excited at the chance to see again and to possibly avoid a transplant. How have you healed?

  3. Hi,
    It’s been just over a year since I had my intacs put in my left eye. It took months to find a contact that would fit and today my eye is killing me with pain, lilke someone poked me in the eye. Not sure I would do the surgery again, just as an FYI the healing process takes at the least 6 months, my doctor said to give it one full year.

    • I have had intac surgery in my right eye like 4 weeks ago and it feels like i have so.ething in it. Was this normal? How long did it last if so??

      • Hello, I did have some discomfort for the first weeks, it was because of the sutures, I could not even handle the light, but after the doctor took the sutures out I was fine, it will be a year since my surgery on both eyes and I could not be more happy, so far I haven’t had to use any contacts.

  4. I had Intacs for both eyes back in August.
    I had what we would call “stage III of keratoconus” –this is a litteral translation from french– so the Intacs were my only choice beside “Transplantation”.
    Now, three months, I still can’t see well (L.E. 7/10, R.E. 5/10), still see “ghost vision”, still light sensitive, still have headache once outdoor.
    The problem is: I cannot find a doctor who is able to give me good glasses since my surgeon is in an other country.

  5. I’m so glad I found this blog. I don’t know why I haven’t looked sooner. I’m currently struggling with KC in my right eye (10 years now, real problematic symptoms for 5). I’ve had the intacts procedure about 2 years ago and I just cannot get comfortable. I’ve been debating with myself about removing the intacts but I’m afraid what might happen if I do. Will I be worse off? I just know that I feel really irritated and headachy in my face and eye area. I can’t tell if it’s due to the KC or the intacts. But I feel like it’s been long enough and I’m ready to have them removed and try to explore other treatments. I would like to know if removing the interacts is a good or bad move? I know each person is different but I’m simply afraid to make this decision because if I remove them, they’re staying out, and I might be worse off. I just don’t know.

    • Hello Rich,
      My name is Anna and I had Kerarings fitted in both eyes in January 2016.
      Since then have experienced a lot of eye pain in the left eye in particular and also severe dryness and light sensitivity in both eyes which i never had before. I have recently felt that the rings in my left eye had moved and this week had them repositioned. Four days on, i still have a lot of pain and constant watering of the eye. I have to see my eye surgeon in 2 days for a check up. If this pain persists, i am seriously considering having them removed. I think i would rather go back to less vision than suffer this constant pain.
      Am curious, did you get them removed in the end?

    • I just removed mine after after waiting a year and a half for. My vision to improve ,I c ant say it was a good experience.i went back to gp lens ,and had to be refited because of the intact.the Dr will decide on my options in about 2 weeks.

  6. My son 23yrs has Keratoconus in both eyes. He still has 20/20 vision in his R eye, but only 20% sight left in his L.
    2012 he had CRX Linking and it seems to have stopped the Keratoconus.
    What I am wondering, if he now gets a contact lense……is it bad for his eye….will he also end up with pain in his eye? If he does not get the lense, he will not be allowed to drive a car.

    • Hi Linda thanks for your message. I would say it’s really important to talk to your healthcare provider as they can advise be best thing for your son. If they get the right lenses for him they will be ok I’m sure. I only get pain with the smaller RGP lenses not the larger ones. I’m glad the CXL has helped him.

  7. Hello People,

    I have been reading everyone’s story and I feel for each of you as I experience the same trauma. I have done C3R in my right eye which has stopped the progression of the disease but after the OP i couldn’t tolerate the RGP lense in my right eye at all, although i could tolerate it in my left eye. After a lot of research I have finally settled down for sclera lenses which are very comfortable and tolerable in both the eyes, only down side is my eyes tend to get red(blood shot) after 9 hours of use but i quickly calm the redness with an Ayurveda eye drop called eupharsia 10%. Also sclera lenses are very safe to use and protect the eyes from dust and other pollutants. I was planning to do an INTAC operation but after reading what others have gone through I sure wont go through this procedure as after doing the C3R operation a small dust particle can cause me enough tearing and eye pain so i could imagine after the INTAC what pain would follow. I’m not sure if anyone has done an ICL procedure but if someone who has, I would love if they could share their experience here.

  8. I had c3r done in both eyes. KC and a intact put in my left eye l had discomfort as if a hair is in my eye for the first 3 months. It finely went away but having a lot of problems getting contacts that are comfortable. Not sure if it’s the intac but I have been unable able to keep a contact in my left eye. Feels like I have dirt in my eye that only gets soarer the more I were it. Wondering if I shouldn’t of had the KC and intac, spent a lot of money with very little improvement if any and gained pain for the trouble. Right is fine. Praying it works out .

    • Are you able to see properly after C3R in right eye. How long it took to get proper vision. Pl do reply as my son had C3R in feb 2016 but still he has no improvement.

      • Hi, the C3R worked as best as it can but it isn’t a technique to improve vision only to stop progression further. So I would not personally expect your salon to see improvement in vision after it.

  9. I recently had c3r done in both my eyes. Corneal haze has accompanied the previous problems. The doctor has asked me to wait for 3 months(for cornea to become stable) after which he would perform rgp trial and intacs (if rgps are unsuccessful).
    From your experience, i don’t think intacs are a good option. Should i plan for rgp then ?? Which lenses are hood for both vision acuity and comfort ??

  10. I recently had c3r done in both my eyes. Corneal haze has accompanied the previous problems. The doctor has asked me to wait for 3 months(for cornea to become stable) after which he would perform rgp trial and intacs (if rgps are unsuccessful).
    From your experience, i don’t think intacs are a good option. Should i plan for rgp then ??

  11. You can try RGP lenses to see if they are comfortable for you, if not which I felt after my c3R operation i opted for sclera lenses which is very comfortable but rather a costly option. Good Luck !!

    • RGP will hurt you a lot later on and may cause scarring of the cornea since the Lense rest on them. Hybrid is good but in terms of longevity it’s not a good option(rather fragile), I am doing a trial for a new set of semi scelera Lense(Atlantics), they are rather smaller in diameter than traditional sclera Lense and very comfortable. I get my Lense this Sunday so I’m excited.

  12. I had INTACs placed on my right eye about 3 years ago (May 2012), the first 2-3 weeks I always felt as if I had an eyelash in my eye. This started getting better and about 4 months later I felt nothing, however my eye was very sensitive when removing my mascara (for about 6 months). Things improved… but now, I feel my INTAC moving. I’m not sure if in fact is moving, but when I blink, I feel it gets stuck and gets repositioned by itself. I might be feeling one thing, and a different thing might be happening. During the morning (after a good night sleep) My eye barely bothers me, but as the day progresses, my eye starts bothering more, and sometimes it feels sore, and I get like a pinching sensation sometimes, ( a bit painful), has anyone experienced any problem with their INTACs after a few years of getting the surgery?

  13. Hi everyone:

    I read all of your experiences and I wanted to share my story with you, I had my intact procedure on both eyes on June 26 of this year, the procedure took 30 min, and I was able to see right after it, I had a suture on each eye and that was uncomfortable, the next day I went for my post op to the doctors office and everything looked great, 2 days after that my vision got blurry and I freaked out, I called the office and made and appointment, they said that was normal that my vision was going to change with the time and to go back a month after that, during this time, my eyes were light sensitive I assumed it was because of sutures being in my eyes, and I was right, after they took the sutures out I was fine. I just had my annual eye exam and I have a 20/30 vision ( it was 20/100 before the procedure) I haven’t wear contacts since the procedure because I don’t have the need for (thank God), I read on a different blog that it takes about a year for your vision to stabilize, good luck!!

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