Radial Keratotomy

Radial Keratotomy falls under the classification of refractive surgery. The shape of the cornea, at the front of the eye, determines how light hits the retina at the back of the eye. If the shape of the cornea is not ideal, the results can be myopia and astigmatism. By making tiny incisions on the cornea, its shape can be modified.

To determine if you are a good candidate for this procedure, your ophthalmologist measures the refraction of your eyes with a photoropter. A slit lamp will examine the front of the eye. The cornea is measured with a keratometer and pachymeter to help determine the number, depth, length and type of incisions to be made.

Radial keratotomy is performed in a surgical facility or office, and the whole procedure including recovery normally takes a couple of hours. Usually, one eye is operated on at a time.

Your Surgical Experience

1)  Before Surgery

* your eyes will be numbed with a local anesthetic, normally in the form of eye drops
* if needed, a sedative can be given to help you relax

2)  During Surgery

* you will be awake, but will feel little or no discomfort due to the anesthesia
* the surgeon will measure your cornea and make the incisions

3)  After Surgery

* you may need to wear an eye guard, patch or sunglasses
* arrange for someone else to take you home; you will not be able to drive
* Do's
1. Do wear sunglasses when outdoors.
2. Do use prescribed medication and eyedrops as directed.
3. Do keep water out of your eyes.
4. Do watch TV or read, as comfortable.
5. Do rest your eyes as much as possible.
6. Do contact your ophthalmologist if anything seems wrong. Do not wait until your next scheduled appointment.
* Don'ts
1. Don't drive until your vision clears and you are comfortable. When in doubt, ask your ophthalmologist.
2. Don't wear eye makeup until advised by your doctor.
3. Don't participate in vigorous sports until advised by your doctor.
4. Don't rub or bump your eyes.
* Your vision will probably be variable, becoming clearer at some times of day than others, and you may experience light sensitivity. These problems usually disappear in 3 to 6 months.
* You will need to be periodically evaluated by your doctor.