Correcting Nearsightedness with Radial Keratotomy

Radial Keratotomy is the most common procedure used for treating nearsightedness. The procedure includes making small cuts in your cornea that flatten it and decrease nearsightedness.

But in people with nearsightedness and astigmatism, the surgeon makes extra cuts to flatten the distorted element of the cornea, which cause astigmatism.

The result of surgery on one eye can influence how the surgery is completed on the other eye, so most of the surgeons wait six weeks before treating another eye.

Also, this wait reduces the threat of distributing a corneal infection to another eye. During this waiting period, you need to wear a contact lens for the eye with nearsightedness.nearsightedness-diagram

What happens after radial keratotomy?

The procedure is done under local anesthesia. Operation for single eye takes about 10-15 minutes. The total process takes less than two hours.

After undergoing the surgery, you need to wear a contact lens or patch on the eye and take pain relievers. The day after the surgery, surgeon examines the eye and recommends eye drops to treat infection and reduce swelling.

  • You will recover quickly and you can go back to your usual activities within few days.
  • Some people can experience aching, throbbing and pain or feel that there is something in their eye.
  • For two weeks after undergoing the surgery, your vision still remains blurring. So, avoid driving until the vision is clear.
  • Don’t apply eye makeup and don’t participate in vigorous activities that get water in your eye.

Why it is necessary to undergo radial keratotomy?

Most people opt this procedure as it is a successful cosmetic procedure used to correct nearsightedness.

People with healthy, normal eyes with constant, mild to moderate nearsightedness are eligible for this procedure. Astigmatism can also be corrected for some extent.

However, people with the following conditions are not eligible for this treatment:

  • Severe nearsightedness that lead to degenerative diseases such as retinal tears
  • More and more worsening of nearsightedness
  • A condition of pathological myopia, in which eyeball grows continuously
  • A disease or abnormality of cornea
  • Any connective tissue diseases that controls the cornea to heal
  • Disease that needs you to take steroids
  • People who have hobbies or careers which make the side effects of the condition more problematic

How effective is the treatment?

The surgery can not completely remove nearsightedness. Even after the surgery, you need to wear lenses for both near and distance vision.

Moderate to high nearsightedness needs more corrections after the surgery than for mild nearsighted.

One of the greatest troubles with radial keratotomy is that you can not predict the results. It avoids nearsightedness, but most often it causes mild farsightedness or can not totally correct nearsightedness.

Risk factors with radial keratotomy

  • Glaucoma
  • Perforation of the cornea
  • Cornea infection can occur immediately following the surgery or after 1-3 years
  • Double vision i.e. it is difficult to identify the orientation of objects and how they relate to each other
  • Asymmetrical astigmatism, which cause double vision or ghost images
  • Glare, particularly during nights
  • Cornea rupturing at the keratotomy scar