Radial Keratotomy and Astigmatic keratotomy
Radial keratotomy is no longer offered as a treatment, but astigmatic keratotomy is often used to fine tune focusing errors after cataract or other refractive surgeries. The following information is mostly historical.
Radial Keratotomy is surgery to improve
myopia by changing the curvature of the cornea over the pupil.
Using a microscope and microsurgical instruments, the Surgeon
makes several deep cuts or incisions (keratotomies) into the
cornea in a radial, or spoke-like, pattern.
The operation takes less than 30 minutes and is usually performed
using eye drops to anaesthetise the cornea. It is used to
treat myopia from -ID to -4D, but is seldom use dnow as laser
techniques are safer, produce much improved results and can
be used on wider range of refractive errors.
Astigmatic keratotomy consists of making peripeheral arcuate
incisions into the cornea for correcting astigmatism. Thsis
use dmore commonly, especialy in associaiton with cataract
surgery and also alone in milder degrees of astigmatism.
Approximately 90% of people suitable for RK could, following
their surgery, pass a drivers test without glasses or contact
lenses. The final visual outcome for any one individual cannot
be precisely predicted.
WHAT ARE THE COMPLICATIONS?
Complications at the time of surgery are rare but can be
serious. After RK the cornea heals slowly, and concerns remain
about the side effects of this delayed corneal healing.
There may be:
- Fluctuating vision, especially in the first few months
- A weakened cornea, more vulnerable to rupture if hit
- The need for additional refractive surgery in 30% of
- Difficulty fitting contact lenses.
- Glare or starbursts around lights.
- Temporary pain.