Corneaplasty is a relatively new method of post-refractive vision correction. Corneaplasty was developed by ISTA Pharmaceuticals (formerly Advanced Corneal Systems) and is in clinical trials in Mexico and Southeast Asia at the time of this writing.

Corneaplasty is similar to other progressive vision-correction techniques such as LASIK and PRK, but is less invasive. With LASIK and PRK, a laser is used to shave off a portion of the patient's cornea, effectively grinding a prescription into the lens. Corneaplasty gradually reshapes the cornea to the proper shape.

The system includes two elements: a drug used to soften the cornea so that it may be reshaped, and a custom-fitted, gas-permeable contact lens the patient wears during the treatment.

The drug temporarily alters the molecular bonds between proteoglycan molecules in the cornea, thereby rendering it more malleable for a limited time. The lens then molds the cornea to correct the refractive error.

After the cornea is treated, the patient wears the contact lens for up to 3 months while the cornea stabilizes. Since the technique is completely non-destructive, it can be performed many times on a single patient.

ISTA Pharmaceuticals can be reached at: 15279 Alton Parkway, Suite 100, Irvine, CA 92618. Phone: (949) 788-6000 Fax: (949) 788-6010

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