Cornea Care - Catalina Eye Care
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Cornea Care

Early detection of corneal eye diseases and conditions can help prevent permanent damage.

Some corneal conditions are:

Keratitis is an inflammation (redness and swelling) of the cornea.
Corneal dystrophies.

Corneal dystrophies cause cloudy vision when material builds up on the cornea.

Keratoconus is a broad term used by ophthalmologists and optometrists to cover conditions associated with changes in corneal shape into a cone-like shape, can cause abnormal posterior ectasia, corneal thickness distribution, clinical non-inflammatory corneal thinning, it can also cause myopia and irregular astigmatism, this Affects quality of life and is a burden on patients and their families.

Current treatments for Cornea disease include corneal transplantation and the revolutionary Descemet’s Membrane Endothelial Keratoplasty (DMEK), an ultra-thin partial thickness corneal transplant for the treatment of Fuchs’ Dystrophy and other corneal diseases that target the diseased layers of the cornea and preserve as much of the healthy cornea as possible. also Deep Anterior Lamellar Keratoplasty (DALK), full thickness corneal transplants, and keratoprostheses.

Dr. Villavicencio and Catalina Eyecare are excited to offer the FDA-approved treatment of keratoconus using Corneal Collagen Cross-Linking, which can slow or even stop the progression of keratoconus. Avedro, Inc., an ophthalmic pharmaceutical and medical device company, has recently received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for Photrexa Viscous, Photrexa and the KXL Collagen Cross-Linking System. Dr. Villavicencio is proud to have been part of a nationwide team involved in the Avedro study, which resulted in the FDA approval of this new device and treatment. Dr. Villavicencio has been performing Collagen Cross-Linking since 2014, as part of the KXL Study in Indianapolis, IN. Since late 2016, Dr. Villavicencio has been offering this technology to the Tucson and Southern Arizona area.

Cataract Surgery

Dr. Villavicencio specializes in all facets of cataract surgery including premium lenses for maximizing vision, post RK/LASIK patients, and eyes with Keratoconus. As a corneal surgeon, he is especially attuned to patients undergoing cataract surgery who have ongoing ocular surface and corneal conditions in order to achieve maximal refractive outcome.

Corneal Transplants

Dr. Villavicencio is trained in all facets of corneal transplantation including the ultra thin Descemet Membrane Endothelial Keratoplasty (DMEK) to treat all layers of the cornea. In some instances, he can combine cataract surgery with DMEK corneal transplantation in 1 surgery to achieve superior outcomes.


Keratoconus is a condition where the cornea progressively gets thinner and bulges forward leading to decreased vision and scarring. The condition was previously treated by performing a full-thickness corneal transplant in severe cases. However, with the advent of collagen cross-linking, a simple 1 hour procedure that involves NO cutting and NO sutures, can help stop the disease from progressing. Dr. Villavicencio was part of the FDA trial that helped gain approval for collagen cross-linking in the USA in 2016.

Dry Eye Disease

Dry eyes are a common problem here in the Sonoran Desert. Not only can dry eyes cause eye pain and irritation, but also decreased vision. In addition to a foreign body sensation and decreased vision, dry eyes can also cause tearing, light sensitivity and in severe causes, corneal scarring.