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What to expect during the iLink®️ cross-linking procedure

From the day of the procedure to your recovery, here’s what you need to know. 

How long the treatment takes

The actual procedure takes about an hour, but you should plan to be at the office for about 2 hours in total to allow sufficient time for preparation and post procedure evaluation before you return to the comfort of your own home.

How the procedure feels

You may experience some discomfort in the treated eye in addition to some sensitivity to light following the procedure.

What you’ll experience during the procedure

Typically, you will be awake during the treatment. You may be offered medication to help you relax and numbing anesthetic drops to ensure that you don’t feel any discomfort.

What to do following your cross-linking procedure 

Rest up Directly after the procedure, plan to go home and take it easy. You’ll likely want to take a nap.
Avoid rubbing your eyes Make sure not to rub your eyes after the procedure to allow the bandage contact lens to stay in place so the epithelium can heal properly.
Manage your pain You may experience some discomfort in the treated eye. Your doctor may or may not prescribe pain medication after the procedure, or may recommend over-the-counter medication. You may also be prescribed antibiotic eyedrops as a precaution to avoid infection.
Avoid light You may notice a sensitivity to light and have a foreign body sensation. You may want to wear sunglasses to help with light sensitivity.
Be patient while your eye heals Your cornea may experience some minor flattening and change shape, possibly causing your vision to fluctuate during this time. Your optometrist will refrain from fitting lenses until your cornea stabilizes.
When to contact your doctor

If you experience severe pain in the eye or any sudden decrease in vision, you should contact your eye doctor immediately.

If your bandage contact lens from the day of treatment falls out or becomes dislodged, you should not replace it and should instead contact your doctor immediately.

Ulcerative keratitis, a potentially serious eye infection, can occur after treatment in rare instances. Your doctor should monitor defects in the outermost corneal layer of the eye for resolution. The most common ocular side effect to occur is haze.

For the full list of potential side effects, see Prescribing Info

Watch WiseEyes – What to expect after iLink®

Check out an audience Q & A segment to help you understand what you can expect after your iLink procedure.

Want to know what questions to ask your doctor about iLink?

See This Guide

After each iLink procedure, the eye doctor will:

Monitor each person’s recovery

Manage vision and eye health

Check for prescription changes

iLink may change the shape of the cornea.

iLink through the eyes of a person with KC

Bekah was diagnosed with keratoconus when she was 36 years old, after she failed her vision exam at the DMV. Like others who are diagnosed with this disease, Bekah didn’t know anyone who was living with keratoconus. She researched keratoconus and potential treatments online and after talking with her doctor, she ultimately decided on the iLink cross-linking procedure.

In this video series, Bekah covers her experience, from nervous preparations leading up to her procedure day through her recovery period.

Pre-procedure Part 1 of 2


Part 1 of 2

Pre-procedure Part 2 of 2


Part 2 of 2

Day after procedure

Day after procedure

48 hours post procedure

48 hours post procedure

5 days post procedure

5 days post procedure

10 days post procedure

10 days post procedure

Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.

Check out this doctor discussion guide for more information

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Important Safety Information

Ulcerative keratitis, a potentially serious eye infection, can occur. Your doctor should monitor defects in the outermost corneal layer of the eye for resolution.

The most common ocular side effect is haze. Other ocular side effects include inflammation, fine white lines, dry eye, disruption of surface cells, eye pain, light sensitivity, reduced sharpness of vision, and blurred vision. The risk information provided here is not comprehensive. To learn more, talk to your healthcare provider.

Go to Prescribing Info to obtain the FDA-approved product labeling.

You are encouraged to report all side effects to the FDA. Visit, or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Approved Uses

Photrexa® Viscous (riboflavin 5’-phosphate in 20% dextran ophthalmic solution) and Photrexa® (riboflavin 5’-phosphate ophthalmic solution) are used with the KXL® System in corneal cross-linking to treat eyes in which the cornea, the clear dome shaped surface that covers the front of the eye, has been weakened from the progression of the disease keratoconus or following refractive surgery, a method for correcting or improving your vision.

Tell your healthcare provider if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.