RADIAL KERATOTOMY (RK)
RK is a method of correcting nearsightedness which,
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.
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
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.