Laser Eye Surgeon’s McLean Practice Becomes Cross-linking Test Site

By Andrew E Holzman, MD FACS on March 11, 2013


Laser Eye Surgeon McLeanLaser eye surgery specialist Dr. Andrew Holzman, serving McLean, Charlottesville and Rockville, has become one of a select few practitioners in the United States to offer cross-linking, a revolutionary new treatment for keratoconus. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration sanctioned Dr. Holzman’s practice as a test site for this procedure, which uses ultraviolet light to strengthen collagen fibers in the cornea. Cross-linking is already available in the European Union. Test sites across the United States, including Dr. Holzman’s practice, are the final step in achieving domestic approval.

Dr. Holzman said: “This exciting new procedure has the potential to change lives. This is the most significant innovation in keratoconus treatment, and it could reduce the number of corneal transplants performed each year by thousands. We are very proud to have been selected to participate in the trial process. “

Keratoconus is a degenerative condition in which the collagen fibers that make up the cornea, or front surface of the eye, begin to break down. As a result, the cornea becomes thinner, and begins to take on a conical shape that compromises vision and increases sensitivity to light. Advanced keratoconus is traditionally treated with a corneal transplant, which uses donor tissue to replace the weakened part of the cornea. Cross-linking is a non-invasive alternative that focuses on repairing existing collagen fibers and generating new collagen.

Cross-linking is performed under a topical anesthetic. Epithelial cells on the corneal surface are gently removed, and riboflavin drops are administered to strengthen collagen and protect other areas of the eye from UV exposure. The patient then looks at the UV light for the next three to eight minutes, which creates free radicals and spurs collagen production. A soft contact lens is then placed over the cornea, acting as a bandage for the next five days. The increased collagen production and strengthening of existing collagen fibers bring the cornea back to its proper shape, restoring quality of vision, comfort, and a normal sensitivity to light.

To learn more, please visit

MessageOur Staff

Dr. Holzman is the best - very honest, very professional yet very friendly and personable. Ben E.

VisitOur Office

We have 5 locations in throughout Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, D.C.

View Locations

Icon Sprite Social Accounts Sprite

McLean Office

7930 Jones Branch Dr
Ste 250
McLean, VA 22102

Open Today 9:00am - 5:00pm

More Info Directions (703) 556-9155

Rockville Office

11200 Rockville Pike
Ste 150
Rockville, MD 20852

Open Today 8:00am - 4:30pm

More Info Directions (301) 881-2021

Charlottesville Office

630 Peter Jefferson Pkwy
Ste 180
Charlottesville, VA 22911

Open Today 8:30am - 5:00pm

More Info Directions (434) 817-5275

Washington Office

1801 K St NW
Ste 500L
Washington, DC 20006

Open Today 8:00am - 4:30pm

More Info Directions (202) 785-2435