The first 1998
publication of crosslinking was with epithelium removal and it showed ability to stabilize the disease, but
it reported pain in recovery and corneal swelling
side effects (future studies would show many more
side effects from epithelium-removal crosslinking
such as corneal ulcers, cornea haze, very slow recovery,
partial loss of vision, etc). Nonetheless after this
publication, there was one peculiar thing: no one
was performing crosslinking. The publication was out
there, but went largely unnoticed by the ophthalmology
community and medical societies. It was the equivalent
of a "silent shot in the dark." Not one
doctor around the world seemed to notice this publication
in 1998, except one doctor: myself.
I was fascinated
when I read this study as I was already was pioneering
the use of Intacs® for Keratoconus as an alternative
to invasive corneal transplants that carry significant
risks. After my own research into crosslinking, I
quickly realized that scaping off the epithelium will
cause a lot of pain during the recovery and other
potential problems. I thought, "there MUST be
a better way!"
I worked to develop
a way to perform crosslinking WITHOUT needing to do
the invasive step of scraping off the cornea's epithelium
top layer (aka transepithelial crosslinking). After many, many nights working on this
after hours, I finally discovered a method to obtain
successful results. Was it possible to have a completely
non-invasive, transepithelial (epithelium-on) procedure that stops Keratoconus in its
tracks without the risks that epithelium removal crosslinking
inherently carries? The answer was a resounding "YES!"
After this discovery, I could hardly sleep that night in 2003.
I remember very
vividly our first patient. He is
a very famous movie producer in Hollywood (due to
patient privacy, I cannot mention his name, but you
would know his movies and the A-list stars of those
movies), He unfortunately had Keratoconus develop
after LASIK. I explained the nature of this new procedure
that I invented. (I hadn't given it a name then).
He was open to it and trusted me. The results were
incredible: we stopped his Keratoconus from progressing
and he was very happy. And best of all: he was back
at the work the very next day after the procedure,
no discomfort, no time off work, no change in his
life. It was amazing, just a one day recovery.
I discussed with
my wife Selina my excitement. On a plane flight with
Selina shortly afterwards, I explained the nature
of the procedure and that it needed to have a simple
name. It would be hard for people to say: riboflavin
in the cornea for collagen crosslinking. A lot of
great ideas have been written on the back of a napkin.
I suppose we can add the naming of this procedure
to that list. Years ago I learned a process to help
with creativity. You draw the words of interest in
a circle and then keep looking at the words. Usually
with time the solution will hit you. On the back of
a United Airlines napkin I did this with Selina at
Suddenly, the name
of the procedure jumped out like a jack-in-box from
the circle of words: C3-R®. There were three words
with letter "C" (corneal collagen crosslinking)
and one word with "R" (riboflavin). Eventually
I obtained a United States Trademark for C3-R®.
Since the C3-R® procedure is distinctly different
from invasive epithelium removal crosslinking and
other "home grown" epithelium-on crosslinking that
some other doctors are trying to do now, I wanted
to be sure we protected our established crosslinking
C3-R® brand that uses a proprietary Crosslinking Solution (that contains riboflavin and other compounds). By doing this, the proprietary C3-R®
procedure could never be confused with less desirable
or unproven crosslinking techniques. C3-R® now
has over 10 years behind it. Since 2003, people know and trust
C3-R® since it has stood the test of time and
has an Olympic Gold medal behind it.
Why trademark C3-R®? It's like with Coke® that is a protected brand owned by The Coca-Cola Company. When you buy a Coke®, you know exactly what you're getting. You know it won't taste different from what you expect. You know Coke® is made from the secret formula locked in a vault somewhere deep in The Coca-Cola Company headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia. You know if you buy a Coke, it's not an unauthentic knockoff from another company – they can’t call their cola "Coke" because The Coca-Cola Company owns the trademark for Coke®. These are all the same reasons that C3-R® is trademarked (and yes, our secret formula for our Crosslinking Solution is also locked in a vault). People know with C3-R® they are getting the "real thing."
In 2007, our Keratoconus
patient Steven Holcomb, the top bobsled driver for the United
States Olympic team, regained 20/20 vision from C3-R®
and Visian ICL and came back from vision-related retirement.
He won Olympic Gold at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver,
the first Olympic Gold for the U.S. in 62 years. On April
9, 2010 when Steven and I were on Dr. Phil's The Doctors television
show, I announced the name modification of "C3-R®"
to "Holcomb C3-R®" in honor of Steven Holcomb.
This marked the first time in history that a treatment for
a disease was named after an Olympic athlete who made the
treatment world-famous. Because of the massive media exposure
about Steven's Olympic accomplishment and his comeback from
Keratoconus, people around the world now know there are options
besides invasive and painful cornea transplants.
Keratoconus is the
thinning and bulging of the cornea. Keratoconus
treatment can include Intacs®, Holcomb C3-R®,
collagen crosslinking, and if keratoconus progresses to
a serious level, corneal transplantation. Dr. Brian Boxer
Wachler is a skilled keratoconus
doctor and can evaluate and treat the condition. If you
signs and wish to learn more about keratoconus
causes and treatment options, please contact the practice
Dr. Brian Boxer
Wachler of the Boxer
Wachler Vision Institute is one of the most qualified
keratoconus doctors, and is well known for his contribution
to the ophthalmic industry and for his other eye care efforts.
Wachler has helped preserve or improve the vision of many
patients who have keratoconus symptoms. Dr. Boxer Wachler
is often asked to lecture, both in the United States and abroad,
about his advancements in LASIK
and keratoconus treatment, as well as keratoconus causes and
the collagen cross linking procedure. Dr. Boxer
Wachler has his private practice in the Beverly Hills
area of Los Angeles.
Copyright© Advanced Vision Education, LLC., 2012
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