Intracorneal Ring Segments

Intracorneal Ring Segments are a refractive treatment for Keratoconus (KCS) designed to improve vision. Book a consultation today and begin your journey to better vision. 

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Intracorneal Ring Segments

Think of the cornea as a transparent rubber ball anchored around the edge where it meets the white part of the eye (the sclera). Bending or stretching the cornea in one direction causes an equal change in the opposite direction. Using the Visumax laser to create a tiny channel in the cornea 1mm in width, thin plastic semi-circular intra-corneal ring segments (ICR’s) are painlessly inserted into the channel to flatten the steeper parts of the cornea and steepen the flatter making the overall shape rounder. 

Intracorneal Rings Suitability Animation

How Do Intracorneal Ring Segments Work?

Intracorneal Rings Treatment Animation

The aim of ICR surgery is to make the cornea rounder and therefore to reduce the blur and ghosting caused by the irregular astigmatism associated with KCS. ICR surgery will not remove the need to wear glasses or contact lenses but should improve unaided vision and also improve clarity of vision with correcting lenses. We use Intacs® corneal implants which are gently placed into channels created by the Visuax laser to reshape your cornea, this can also be combined with CXL treatment to further reinforce the cornea and maintain the corrected shape. Corneal implants for the treatment of KCS were approved by NICE in 2007, the guidance can be downloaded here.


No, anaesthetic drops are used to numb the eye prior to the laser creating the channel. This process takes 7 seconds. The ring segments are then gently fed along the channel until they are in the correct position, you will feel gentle pressure on your eye during this part but no pain. Following surgery the eye will feel slightly gritty for a day or two.

Almost immediately. We will provide you with a course of eye drops to use after surgery. You can use screens and return to normal activities the next day. You must avoid rubbing or touching your eyes.

ICR surgery may be combined with CXL treatment during sequential procedures to limit recovery time and combine a therapeutic with a refractive procedure. When the eye has settled from ICR surgery and vision has stabilized fully, typically after 3 months, subsequent procedures may also be planned e.g. implantable collamer lens (ICL) surgery to further correct refractive error if required.

Risks of ICR surgery are low but in a small proportion of cases improvement can be unpredictable because every keratoconic cornea is different, around 70% of patients will experience an improvement in vision but others may not even if the corneal shape is made rounder. Infection is rare and further surgery e.g. repositioning the rings is also uncommon. As ICR surgery does not involve removal of tissue the procedure is reversible by removal of the rings.

ICR surgery for KCS is approved by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence for which guidance IPG227 can be downloaded here.

Intacs® are made from polymethylmethacrylate or PMMA, a type of inert plastic that has been used in many types of medical devices including intraocular lenses for over 40 years. 

ICR surgery is designed to be a permanent procedure although the ring or rings can be removed if desired. Should corneal transplant surgery be required at a later date, previous ICR surgery is unlikely to affect the outcome. 

Yes, although they are transparent, the small arcs of the ICR are visible. 

Yes, the ICR(s) can be removed from the cornea through the same channel. 

Don't Just Take Our Word For It

All Round Excellent Experience
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I underwent insertion of an intracorneal ring combined with corneal crosslinking in my left eye with Anderson Eye Care in September 2019. The procedure is entirely painless and does not take long, all you feel is pressure on your eye. There was moderate discomfort from around 2 hours post procedure until around 12 hours post procedure, however you are provided with painkillers and numbing eye drops which keeps everything under control. I woke up the morning after with no discomfort whatsoever, which was surprising to say the least. From my initial consultation with David through to my procedure and followup appointments, I found David and the other staff at the Nuffield facility to be professional and polite. I would rate my experience with Anderson Eye Care as exceptional and would not hesitate to consult with David again should I need treatment in my other eye. --Daniel Rogers
Oliver Forrest
Corneal Cross-linking
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I was referred to Mr Anderson last year for treatment for keratoconus and underwent corneal cross-linking on both eyes. I am 24 years old and have been seeing various opticians and eye doctors since 2015. Mr Anderson was knowledgeable and very helpful in explaining the process to me and I felt confident in him going into the procedure. There were no problems with the surgery and I was well-prepared for the discomfort I experienced in both eyes while recovering over the following couple of days, with advice, eye drops and pain relief. Having both eyes done at the same time meant that I couldn't see properly for most of that recovery period, but it also meant both eyes recovered in the same time frame and I only had to go in for surgery once. I have no regrets about choosing to have the treatment this way. Mr Anderson and his staff were very professional, helpful and kind both when I went in for the procedure and when I returned for follow up appointments. I would have no hesitation in recommending him to others.
Suki Gupta
Removal of Scar tissue- Superficial Keratectomy
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I have been under the care of Mr David Anderson for my Keratoconus for many years so when he recommend that i needed a procedure to remove scar tissue- superficial keratectomy, i did not hesitate. HIs calm, relaxed, professional manner reassured me every step of the way from the initial consultation to the post op follow up appointment. i felt fully informed and the information was on a comprehensible level so i never felt overwhelmed by the specialist medical terminology. His efficient and professional team were caring and considerate and their approachable manner put my mind at ease. i was confident i was in good hands throughout. I highly recommend Mr David Anderson without hesitation. In fact i have to have the same procedure on my other eye in the near future and am completely at ease in the knowledge that Mr Anderson will be my surgeon. Thank you to all the team.
Mrs Helen Eborall
Corneal Cross Linking
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I live in Guernsey and was referred to Mr Anderson for help with my condition known as Keracatonus. I met David who from the offset knew what he was able to offer me. His knowledge of eyecare was incredible something I had not experienced before, I'm 31 years old. I agreed to have Corneal Cross Linking done. At first it was very daunting as I did my research but when it came to the procedure I was looked after very well. The procedure was over and done with in over 30 minutes. There is discomfort for a few days after but rest is the key. Eye drops and pain killers benefit as well as sunglasses and goggles for the shower. Overall the experience was worthwhile as my corneas are now fantastic and I'm working at improving my vision with the help of my optician and continued support from David and his team. I would highly recommend Anderson Eyecare to anyone considering procedures especially Corneal Cross Linking.
Jack Walsh
Corneal Cross Linking
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Diagnosed with advanced Keratoconus at the age of 19, I was referred to Dr Anderson at the Nuffield Hospital in Chandlers Ford, Eastleigh. My initial meeting with Dr Anderson left me feeling encouraged and in safe hands. I had the condition explained to me in depth and was guided through the Corneal Cross Linking procedure which would halt the thinning of my corneas. The operation itself was not painful. Dr Anderson's consideration towards my comfort was excellent. The after care and follow-up appointments are a constant reminder of the exceptional quality of his practice as my vision is stable and healthy. I understand having corneal treatment at a young age is daunting, but Dr Anderson's professionalism, expertise and care towards his patients left me feeling calm and confident. I would highly recommend Dr Anderson's practice to anyone.
Lynn Tulie
Cross linking
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My son (19) was diagnosed with keratoconus following a trip to emergency department with hydrops. We were referred to Mr Anderson regarding care and plan for future treatment Mr Anderson and his team have been exellent from start to finish. Cross linking was advised (on his good eye ) and this was completed very quick within 5 days of seeing Mr Anderson his PA Lisa Kept us informed and was very professional. my son recovered within a week and I can not thank the team enough. Once again thank you.

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