Conductive keratoplasty eye surgery is also known as CK. It is a non-invasive and non-laser treatment for presbyopia and hyperopia. CK is an advanced technique for vision correction that uses low radiofrequency (RF) energy to provide a long lasting vision correction by reshaping the cornea. It helps to rectify age-related long sight. CK is popular with people in their mid-forties who have had good sight all their lives but need reading glasses.
CK enables people to reduce their dependence on reading glasses. Unlike laser-based refractive surgical procedures, this surgery takes only a few minutes and no tissue is removed from the eye.
Conductive keratoplasty surgery is best suited for people:
- Above 40 with healthy eyes
- Have mild to moderate hyperopia
- Have had a stable prescription for at least six months
CK surgery benefits include:
- Painless procedure
- Results last up to a few months
- It is safe and approved by the FDA
- Does not need cutting or removing tissue
- Both eyes can be treated during the same visit
- Doesn’t carry the same risks as laser treatments
- A great alternative to other kinds of eye surgery
- Doesn’t need the use of a badge or patch after surgery
- The procedure takes about three minutes per eye
- Symptoms subside within twenty-four hours after the surgery
- One doesn’t require the use contact lenses or eyeglasses to see at arm's-length distances
CK is a refractive surgical treatment that can change the focus of the eye to treat farsightedness. It can be used as an alternative to laser-based procedures like LASIK and photorefractive keratectomy (PKK) for people over 40. It works by shrinking the collagen fibers which tighten and steepen more flat sections of the cornea. It can help make the keratoconic cornea more symmetric and smoother.
CK can also be used after PKK or LASIK treatment where an overcorrection of myopia occurs causing blurred vision at near and far distances. In such cases, the cornea may be too thin to undergo more laser treatment. CK retreatment is effective in reducing hyperopia with predictable and safe results.
CK is also being investigated as a treatment option for some types of astigmatism which create an irregular eye surface because of surgical incisions or trauma.
Preparation and Expectation Before Surgery
The eye doctor conducts a comprehensive eye examination to determine if the person is the right candidate for CK. During the exam, the doctor uses an instrument known as a corneal topographer to create a detailed map of the curvature of the cornea.
The instrument’s measurement is like taking a close-up photograph of the eye's surface. The corneal topography map displays the various flat and steep corneal curvatures that the eye surgeon must take into account during the procedure.
CK can be done in the eye surgeon’s office. During the process the surgeon:
- Applies anesthetic eye drops to the patient’s eyes
- Uses a speculum (a small support device) to keep the eyelids open and prevent blinking
- Using a rinse away dye imprints a treatment pattern on the cornea, indicating where the radio frequency is to be applied
- Uses a hand held device to deliver the energy to a specific depth within the cornea at the right spots. The location and number of places determine the amount of refractive change. Higher amounts of hyperopia need a more significant number of spots and rings.
After Care, Recovery, Results
After the CK, it is recommended that a patient:
- Avoids eye make-up for one week
- Should not rub the eyes for up to two weeks
- Must not let sweat get into eyes in the first seven days
- Must keep the eyes closed while taking a shower or bathing
- Should not get water into the eyes for the first week after the surgery
Eighty-three percent of the people who undergo CK surgery achieve 20/30 or better intermediate vision. Over 95 percent of the patients report satisfaction with the depth perception and quality of vision.
Risks & Complications
CK surgery drawbacks may include:
- Mild discomfort
- Irreversible results
- Corneal regression
- Corneal aseptic necrosis
- Blurred vision for up to twenty four hours
- A foreign body or grainy sensations in the eye
- Light sensitivity during the first few days after surgery
- Results are only temporary and one may need retreatment
- Vision can fluctuate for several weeks after the surgery affecting one’s activities