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Consult with Dr. Lawrence Chao


2500 Alton Parkway Ste 102, Irvine, CA 92606
1955 Sunny Crest Dr. Ste 120, Fullerton, CA 92835
Specializing in Cataract, LASIK, and Corneal Refractive Conditions & Treatment

Cornea Subspecialty

Lawrence C. Chao, MD
Board-certified ophthalmologist
Fellowship Trained Eye Surgeon

Jennifer L. Wu, MD
Board-certified ophthalmologist
Fellowship Trained Eye Surgeon

Cornea Health

The cornea is the clear curved window of the eye which is responsible for providing two thirds of the light bending ability of the entire eye.  It is crucial that the cornea remains healthy and clear for good vision.

Medical strategies to obtain good vision are always tried first, but if these are not successful in providing good vision, corneal surgery is often needed.

Cornea Transplants

  • Endothelial Keratoplasty, inner layer corneal transplant (DSEK and DMEK)
  • Deep Anterior Lamellar Keratoplasty, partial thickness corneal transplant
  • Penetrating Keratoplasty, full thickness cornea transplant (PKP)

Our surgeons perform the latest corneal transplant techniques, including DMEK, ultra-thin DSAEK and Femtosecond Laser Assisted Corneal Transplants (FLAK).

Donated human corneal tissue is utilized for cornea transplants.  The cornea is composed of five layers, all together measuring about half a millimeter in thickness centrally. 

Lamellar or layer specific corneal transplant surgery offers a less invasive surgical solution for those diseases that selectively affect different portions of the cornea.

Healing and visual recovery is generally quicker for inner layer corneal procedure compared to full thickness cornea transplantation. 

Cornea Cross-Linking (CXL) for Cornea Ectasia

Cornea ectasia refers to a group of corneal diseases resulting in progressive corneal thinning and irregular astigmatism, leading to vision loss. 

Cornea cross-linking or cross-linking (CXL) is a surgical procedure for the treatment of cornea ectasia including keratoconus and post-Lasik ectasia.  

  • Epithelium-off CXL: the epithelial layer of the cornea is removed to facilitate absorption of the riboflavin by corneal tissue. 
  • Epithelium-On CXL (also called Transepithelial CXL): riboflavin is applied to the protective epithelial layer.

Cross-Linking has been used to stabilize the cornea in those who have undergone radial keratotomy (RK) or as a pre-treatment for cornea shaping surgery such as laser vision correction.

While the Avedro KXL System is the first commercially available cross-linking platform, the National Institutes of Health and a few select specialty eye centers offer corneal cross linking clinical trials including off-label uses or non FDA approved indications.

Learn more about your Cross-Linking Cornea Specialists.

Chao Vision Institute specializes in cataract, LASIK, and corneal refractive vision conditions and treatments.

See Dr. Lawrence Chao for a consult or second opinion if you are considering eye surgery, including Crystalens ™, Visian ICL™, and LASIK surgery in Irvine, Orange County, or the Los Angeles , Riverside, and San Diego areas.

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