Intacs® Risks and Side-effects

Intacs® are an effective treatment for keratoconus and mild myopia, but it is important to understand all risks and side-effects before choosing to undergo the procedure. As with any refractive surgery, the procedure involves risks such as over- or undercorrection and infection. Dr. Andrew Holzman will fully explain Intacs® risks and side-effects during a consultation at his Washington, DC, practice, and conduct a thorough screening to determine if the procedure is right for you.

Man undergoing Intacs® consultation

Assessing candidacy is one of the surest means of minimizing the risks of Intacs® placement.

When Not to Get Intacs®

Due to the increased risk of complications, certain patients are not good candidates for Intacs®, including those who:

  • Are pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Are under the age of 21
  • Have collagen vascular, autoimmune, or immunodeficiency diseases
  • Take Accutane®, Imitrex®, or Cordarone®
  • Have thin corneas
  • Have eye disease
  • Have diseases that slow healing, such as diabetes
  • Have ocular herpes


The placement of Intacs® is considered to be a very safe procedure, but there can be some side-effects:

  • Infection
  • Pain or discomfort for up to 48 hours
  • Glare and halos
  • Sensitivity to bright light
  • Allergic reaction to anesthetic eye drops
Choosing an experienced ophthalmologist is the best way to avoid complications and achieve the best possible results.


The risks of Intacs® include:

  • Under-correction 
  • Over-correction
  • Induced astigmatism
  • Changing distance vision
  • Blurry or double vision
  • Development of abnormal corneal blood vessels
  • Extrusion of the insert
  • Scarring
  • Reduction in central corneal sensation
  • Night vision difficulty
  • Stromal thinning due to shallow placement
  • Corneal edema
  • Corneal perforation

Patients should be aware that complications can occur weeks, months, or even years after their surgery. Complications could result in poor vision, total loss of vision, or even loss of the eye, but these complications are extremely rare. Choosing an experienced ophthalmologist is the best way to avoid complications and achieve the best possible results.

Postoperative Care

In order to expedite recovery, minimize side-effects, and avoid complications, patients should follow all postoperative instructions from their surgeon. These include using any prescribed antibiotic, steroid, and lubricating eye drops. In first few days, patients may be sensitive to sunlight or feel like something is in their eye. It is extremely important that patients do not rub their eyes for six months following the surgery, and patients should use nighttime shields to prevent rubbing their eyes at night.

Patients should avoid getting tap water in their eyes for the first few weeks after surgery, and should avoid swimming pools for a week. Patients should avoid swimming in lakes and oceans for a month. When swimming, they should always wear protective goggles. Eye makeup should not be used for at least a week. When engaging in sports involving bodily contact or sudden jarring, patients should always wear protective goggles.

Schedule Your Consultation

If you are interested in having Intacs® placed to treat mild myopia or keratoconus, contact our office today and schedule a consultation with Dr. Holzman. He will take careful note of your goals and conduct an in-depth assessment of your health to determine if this treatment is right for you.

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

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McLean Office

7930 Jones Branch Dr
Ste 250
McLean, VA 22102

Open Today 9:00am - 5:00pm

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11200 Rockville Pike
Ste 150
Rockville, MD 20852

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630 Peter Jefferson Pkwy
Ste 180
Charlottesville, VA 22911

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1801 K St NW
Ste 500L
Washington, DC 20006

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7538 Limestone Dr
Gainesville, VA 20155

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