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RADIAL KERATOTOMY (RK)

Incision Area

RK is a method of correcting nearsightedness which, like LASIK and PRK, involves changing the curvature and therefore the focusing power of the cornea.

A precision diamond blade is used to make deep cuts into the peripheral part of the cornea, in a pattern that looks like the spokes of a wheel.

Depth of Incision

These radial incisions point toward the center of the cornea but do not cross the center. These incisions make the peripheral cornea bulge and become steeper, but the center part of the cornea flattens, correcting the nearsightedness.

RK is done under topical or eyedrop anesthesia and takes a few minutes an eye. Most surgeons feel that up to -4.00 diopters of nearsightedness can be safely treated with RK. RK can be combined with AK or astigmatic keratotomy to correct any accompanying astigmatism.

Visual recovery is quick and there is very little discomfort. Time has shown that the RK eye is not always a stable situation. Even as long as 10 years after the original surgery, the cornea can change, sometimes to the point of the patient needing glasses again. RK patients can also experience a permanent fluctuation in their vision from morning to evening. The RK eye is also perhaps more susceptible to damage from eye trauma.

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