Intrastromal corneal ring segments (INTACS) is a non-laser procedure that involves implanting two tiny plastic arcs in the cornea. These crescents are placed in the outer edge of the cornea and opposite each other. When placed, INTACS stretch the cornea to make it flatter.

Since the procedure is used to flatten a steep cornea, nearsighted patients benefit the most. The level of nearsightedness should be mild, and the patients should have little or no astigmatism. The advantage of this procedure is that the ring segments can be removed or exchanged. INTACS are also used as a treatment for keratoconus patients.

Pros & Cons of Choosing INTACS


  • For patients with progressive keratoconus, Intacs may defer a corneal transplant
  • Reversible
  • Patients may achieve a better fit and hence a more comfortable fit with their contact lenses


  • Postoperative discomfort/pain for one to four days
  • Fluctuating vision for weeks to months after the procedure
  • Vision may not improve or change

Balamurali K. Ambati, M.D., Ph.D.

Dr. Bala Ambati specializes in cataract extraction, lifestyle lens implants, LASIK, cornea transplants, keratoprosthesis (artificial cornea), PRK, and other complex procedures of the cornea and anterior segment of the eye at the John A. Moran Eye Center, University of Utah, Salt Lake City. He joined the Moran faculty as a physician and researcher i... Read More

Amy Lin, M.D.

Amy Lin, MD, specializes in the medical and surgical treatment of corneal and anterior segment diseases at the Moran Eye Center, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, and at the Moran Eye Center at the Midvalley Health Center. Her interests include corneal transplantation, anterior segment reconstruction, cataract surgery (including advanced technolo... Read More

Mark D. Mifflin, M.D.

Mark D. Mifflin specializes in the medical and surgical treatment of corneal and anterior segment eye diseases. His expertise includes all types of corneal transplantation, cataract surgery, and vision correction using lasers, intra-ocular lenses, and conductive keratoplasty. Dr. Mifflin is the Residency Program Director and Education Director for ... Read More

Geoffrey C. Tabin, M.D.

Geoffrey Tabin, M.D. is a Professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences and Co-Director of the Outreach Division at the John A. Moran Eye Center and University of Utah and; specializing in cornea, cataract and refractive surgery. Dr. Tabin graduated from Yale College, earned a M.A. in philosophy at Oxford as a Marshall Scholar, and then his M.D. f... Read More

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