Dr. Lance Kugler Performs First Clinical Trial Corneal Crosslinking Procedure in Nebraska

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This procedure may represent a potential treatment option for individuals diagnosed with keratoconus and corneal ectasia after refractive surgery.

“I am really excited that we are finally able to evaluate the crosslinking procedure in this research study here in the United States, particularly here in Nebraska.” Dr. Lance Kugler

On November 7, 2012 , Kugler Vision became one of the first institutions in America to perform the Corneal Crosslinking procedure. The procedure was done as part of a national multicenter clinical trial examining the safety and efficacy of the corneal crosslinking procedure for the treatment of keratoconus and corneal ectasia after refractive surgery. Keratoconus is a progressive degenerative eye disease affecting one in every 200-500 Americans. Patients with this disease experience a gradual steepening and thinning of the cornea, which leads to a progressive loss of vision. The only current treatment options are specialized hard contacts or INTACS implantation, until corneal transplant surgery is required. Although corneal transplantation is generally effective, it is a major surgery that carries with it risks and complications, including vision loss. Additionally, successful surgery still requires a recovery period of 9-12 months.

Crosslinking attempts to reduce the progression of keratoconus or corneal ectasia by strengthening the collagen bonds inside the cornea. Subjects undergoing the crosslinking procedure as part of the research study receive drops of riboflavin (vitamin B2) ophthalmic solution, a micronutrient that promotes collagen strengthening, that are activated through the use of ultraviolet light therapy.

The result is a stronger corneal structure that gives the cornea greater ability to withstand the degeneration that occurs in diseases such as kerataconus.

A specialist in cornea, cataracts, and laser eye surgery (LASIK), Dr. Kugler is one of a small group of 100 principal investigators conducting a clinical trial evaluating the safety and efficacy of Collagen Corneal Crosslinking in the United States. “I have been interested in this treatment technology for several years. My European colleagues have had access to it for many years now and their published data is very encouraging,” he said. “I am really excited that we are finally able to evaluate the crosslinking procedure in this research study here in the United States, particularly here in Nebraska.”

Though crosslinking has been used internationally for many years, Kugler stresses that the technology is still experimental in the United States. “The hope is that the data from our clinical trial will demonstrate crosslinking to be a safe and effective treatment for patients with keratoconus. If that turns out to be true, then it may become available to other surgeons who are not part of this trial.”

Kugler Vision is currently seeking subjects to participate in this National corneal crosslinking clinical trial to study the safety and efficacy of this treatment. For information about Dr. Lance Kugler and how to participate, visit http://www.lasikomaha.com or call 402-558-2211. A description of this clinical trial is available on the website http://www.clinicaltrials.gov, as required by U.S. law.

KuglerVision, PC, 13923 Gold Circle, Suite 101, Omaha, NE 68144. info(at)lasikomaha(dot)com

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Melissa Garand

Melissa Garand
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