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Correcting Keratoconus in Patients With Down Syndrome

  • Published: 2011-07-25 : Dr. Brian Boxer Wachler.
  • Synopsis: Non-invasive Holcomb C3-R procedure stabilizes vision for those seeking a non-surgical solution for degenerative eye disease including people with Down syndrome afflicted with Keratoconus.

Main Document

Dr. Brian Boxer Wachler's Innovative Holcomb C3-R Procedure Corrects Keratoconus in Patients With Down Syndrome.

Procedure Stabilizes Vision For Those Who Seek a Non-Surgical Solution for Degenerative Eye Disease

Renowned Beverly Hills ophthalmologist Dr. Brian Boxer Wachler performed his revolutionary non-invasive Holcomb C3-R procedure on John Allen, a 31-year old from Shawnee, Oklahoma. Born partially deaf and with Down syndrome, Allen's vision was failing due to the degenerative eye disease Keratoconus. Though surgical options do exist to correct the disorder, surgeons had been reluctant to operate on Allen due to his pre-existing chromosomal and developmental condition. With Dr. Boxer Wachler's procedure, Allen's Keratoconus will be stopped in its tracks. His story raises awareness for others like him, as a recent study shows the prevalence of Keratoconus in those with Down syndrome to be exponentially higher (5%-15%) than the general population (.05%).

"The world needs to know that people with Down syndrome afflicted with Keratoconus can be treated and now have hope," said Dr. Boxer Wachler. "Due to the dis-proportionally high number of cases like John's, we hope to show that there is light at the end of the tunnel."

The Holcomb C3-R procedure is a 30-minute outpatient procedure that is designed specifically to treat Keratoconus.

During the treatment, custom-made riboflavin eye drops are applied to the cornea, which are then activated by a special light, ultimately strengthening the weakened cornea. The technique, which Dr. Boxer Wachler has been performing since 2003, was renamed in honor of Olympic four-man bobsledder Steve Holcomb, who had retired from the sport in 2007 when Keratoconus had rendered him legally blind and unable to steer his sled. After Dr. Boxer Wachler's C3-R procedure restored his sight, Holcomb led his four-man team to a gold medal at the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver and Dr. Boxer Wachler added Holcomb's name to the procedure as a tribute.

The Holcomb C3-R method works by aiding collagen cross-linking, which increases the cornea's mechanical strength, thus preventing the cornea from bulging out and becoming steep and irregular, which is caused by Keratoconus. When indicated patients can elect to combine the Holcomb C3-R treatment with permanent contact lenses called Intacs that help flatten the Keratoconus cone even more, a technique also pioneered by Dr. Boxer Wachler in 1999. In these cases, the Intacs help reverse pre-existent Keratoconus steepening prior to the treatment.

With today's procedure, John Allen is on the road to improved overall quality of life. Allen's mother warmly stated "Dr. Brian Boxer Wachler is an angel sent to help our angel."

To learn more about Keratoconus, Dr. Boxer Wachler or the Holcomb C3-R, please visit www.KeratoconusInserts.com

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