Radial Keratotomy (RK) Guide


RK - Radial Keratotomy

Refractive Error Correction

  • Myopia - nearsightedness or short sightedness. 
  • Astigmatism

RK has today almost completely been replaced by LASIK surgery.  The procedure is similar to laser eye surgery with the obvious difference of using a blade instead of a laser to shape the cornea and correct refractive errors and thus, improve vision.  A laser is far more precise and therefore leads to fewer complications compared with the blade used in RK surgery.  RK is however, an established procedure and is used to reduce the central corneal curvature sufficiently so as to move the cornea’s focus back onto the retina.  It does not always however, completely eliminate nearsightedness and glasses may have to be worn for near or distance vision.  It is most effective at treating mild nearsightedness.

When both eyes require surgery, because the outcome of surgery on the first eye may affect how surgery is done on the second eye, many surgeons wait six weeks before treating the second eye. This also helps reduce the risk of spreading a corneal infection to the second eye.  A contact lens may be worn in the untreated eye in-between treatment.

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