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Doctor insights on: Photorefractive Keratotomy

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Tell me the difference between photorefractive keratectomy vs radial keratotomy?

Tell me the difference between photorefractive keratectomy vs radial keratotomy?

Laser vs scalpel: Prk uses a laser to resurface and reshape the front of the eye to improve vision. Rk involves creating multiple radial incisions on the cornea in a symmetrical pattern to flatten the cornea. Prk is much newer and more reliable technology. Rk has many side effects such as regression, irregular astigmatism, and scarring. ...Read more

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Please advise what is the difference between photorefractive keratectomy vs radial keratotomy?

Please advise what is the difference between photorefractive keratectomy vs radial keratotomy?

Cutting v sculpting: Radial keratotomy (rk) is an older and rarely performed procedure that has side effects. The eye surgeon makes a series of radial cuts about 90% deep in the cornea to flatten it and reduce or eliminate myopia. Photorefractive keratectomy (prk) uses an excimer laser to reshape the cornea. It is done on the surface of the cornea as opposed lasik which is performed under a flap of cornea. ...Read more

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Can i perform my own radial keratotomy?

Can i perform my own radial keratotomy?

Yikes: You could numb your eye with medication so you could do this painlessly. But you have no ability to control the cutting instrument on yourself. The likelihood is that you would slice open your eye and need emergency surgery. Do not do this at home. Anyway, lasik has totally replaced radial keratotomy as a more predictable and safer therapy. ...Read more

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How long does the radial keratotomy take?

How long does the radial keratotomy take?

Quick: The actual surgery is very fast, often taking less than 5 minutes. However the measurements of the cornea to accurately perform radial keratotomy (rk) should take some time, up to 20-30 minutes to check corneal shape and thickness at various points on the eye surface. Rk has fallen out of favor and has been replaced in most cases with prk using the laser, or lasik. ...Read more

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Does radial keratotomy vision deteriorate?

Does radial keratotomy vision deteriorate?

Possible yes: Rk is almost never performed now because of the side effects which included regression, scarring, and irregular astigmatism. This was due to the fact that the human hand cannot make 8 or 16 perfectly symmetrical and identical incisions in the eye and that each incision would not heal exactly the same. Many patients with rk now have worse vision and many use contact lenses to treat astigmatism. ...Read more

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Is radial keratotomy a very common procedure?

Is radial keratotomy a very common procedure?

No: Rk was performed before laser refractive surgery was available. Although it was effective in a lot of people, the results were quite variable and over time many patients noted major changes in their prescriptions. Laser procedures are far more accurate, and treat the upper 10% of the cornea, rather than the nearly full thickness of it. ...Read more

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Is there any pain involved in a radial keratotomy?

Mild discomfort: Radial keratotomy is an older form of vision correction surgery that is rarely performed today. It involves making tiny incisions into the cornea in order to change its shape. While the procedure itself is painless, it is not uncommon for people to feel a "scratchy" sensation for a day or so after the procedure. Artificial tears can decrease the discomfort. Speak to a doctor about lasik/prk. ...Read more

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Can overcorrection by radial keratotomy be treated?

Can overcorrection by radial keratotomy be treated?

Yes: The common way is to use glasses or contact lenses. Laser vision correction can also work. See your ophthalmologist to discuss the various options with you. ...Read more

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Can radial keratotomy vision deteriorate throughout life?

Can radial keratotomy vision deteriorate throughout life?

Maybe: One of the long term problems with rk surgery is the lack of long term stability in some patients. Sometimes, their prescription keeps changing over time, usually making them become more far-sighted. There are some therapies available that may help. Consult a corneal specialist. ...Read more

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Did anything bad happen to the people who got radial keratotomy over the years, since it was long ago?

Did anything bad happen to the people who got radial keratotomy over the years, since it was long ago?

Possible yes: Rk is almost never performed now because of the side effects which included regression, scarring, and irregular astigmatism. This was due to the fact that the human hand cannot make 8 or 16 perfectly symmetrical and identical incisions in the eye and that each incision would not heal exactly the same. Many patients with rk now have worse vision and many use contact lenses to treat astigmatism. ...Read more