When we turn 40, our eyes begin losing their ability to easily focus on near objects. This can be the result of two different conditions:
Presbyopia: when the lens in the eye loses flexibility because of age. This causes problems in the way our eyes focus light. Most people over age 40 and everyone over age 50 suffer from this condition.
Farsightedness (hyperopia): when the surface of the eye (cornea) is too flat, changing the way our eye focuses light. Young eyes are often strong enough to compensate, which is why it may only be a problem after age 40.
CK is for the temporary reduction of farsightedness and presbyopia. No matter what type of procedure is performed, our eyes inevitably change as we age. Conductive Keratoplasty can turn back the clock on farsightedness, but it cannot stop the clock.
As with most vision correction procedures, CK is not reversible. Once the procedure has been performed, it is not possible to "remove" the effects of the procedure. However, its noninvasive, non-cutting process can allow further work at a future time. To make sure Conductive Keratoplasty is right for you, seek the advice of our experienced surgeons.
Patients usually notice an immediate improvement in their vision after the CK procedure. However, it usually takes several weeks for the eyes to reach the final level of correction.
Most patients will experience mild fluctuation in their vision after surgery, but many will never notice it. Any fluctuation will usually subside within a few weeks. Patients who undergo vision procedures for farsightedness usually require a longer stabilization period than those treated for nearsightedness.
For patients who require treatment in both eyes, Conductive Keratoplasty is typically performed on both eyes on the same day — one eye immediately after the other. Most patients are comfortable having both eyes corrected on the same day because CK is minimally invasive and requires only a few minutes to perform.
You will not have to wear patches or bandages. However, many doctors will recommend temporary clear lenses (similar to contact lenses, but without a prescription) to protect the eyes and reduce any discomfort.
With CK, the majority of patients are able to return to work and other normal activities the day after their procedure. Although recovery is fairly quick, it is advisable to be careful with your eyes and avoid any strain. Those whose jobs demand intense clarity of vision (such as dentistry, surgery, or computer work) may find their work more difficult to perform for several days after having the procedure.
Conductive Keratoplasty is considered painless. You will be aware of a support (speculum), which helps to hold your eye open. The most common sensation that patients experience is a feeling of pressure on the eye. After surgery, there may be some mild discomfort. Many patients complain of a foreign-object sensation or a slight "scratchiness" in the eye. Foreign-object sensation usually subsides within 24 hours of the procedure.
A local anesthetic in the form of eye drops is used to numb the eye. Some patients who are very nervous and have a high level of anxiety about the procedure will be given a mild sedative to help them relax.
Lasers reshape the cornea by vaporizing (removing) tissue. CK reshapes the cornea using an entirely different method: the application of low-level, radiofrequency (RF) energy to specific spots around the cornea. This causes the tissue of the cornea (collagen) to shrink in a very controlled way, creating a constrictive "band" that gives the cornea a steeper shape.
Will the instrument used in the Conductive Keratoplasty procedure penetrate my cornea?
The small, pen-shaped instrument used to apply radiofrequency (RF) energy does penetrate, to a very specific depth, in the cornea (approximately 0.45 mm or less than 1/50 of an inch). The actual penetrating tip (Keratoplast™ Tip) is as thin as a human hair. It also has a specially designed stop to eliminate the risk of penetrating the cornea too deeply.
Because Conductive Keratoplasty is minimally invasive and very controlled, the procedure has very few surgical complications. During the first 24 to 48 hours after surgery, you may experience tearing and some discomfort, including a foreign-object sensation in the eyes. You may also experience a slight over-correction of your vision, allowing you to see better up close, though your distance vision may be blurry. This will stabilize during the following weeks.
As with any other type of vision procedure, certain precautions should be taken after CK. Patients should avoid getting contaminated water in their eyes for at least one week. This includes water from swimming pools, spas, lakes, and the ocean. When showering or taking baths, patients should keep their eyes closed to avoid getting soap and dirty water in them. When exercising, sweat should be kept out of the eyes for at least a week after surgery. Also, patients should avoid rubbing their eyes vigorously for two weeks following the procedure. Females should also avoid applying eye makeup for one week after surgery.
No. And, no honest doctor can absolutely guarantee a certain result from any vision procedure. However, the probability of achieving 20/20 vision with CK can be determined based on clinical studies. At this time, 92% of patients with low to moderate ranges of hyperopia achieve normal or near-normal vision after one CK procedure.
The vast majority of patients do not need corrective lenses of any kind after the Conductive Keratoplasty procedure. However, depending on your age and the type of refractive disorder you have, you may need additional vision correction (surgery, reading glasses, or bifocals) at some point. This is because your eyes continue to change as you age, no matter what vision procedure you use. No one can avoid presbyopia, which occurs when the lens in your eye loses flexibility. In the meantime, you can decrease your dependence on glasses with CK for the temporary reduction of farsightedness and presbyopia.
CK is intended for hyperopia where the cornea requires steepening. CK is not designed to flatten the cornea, the effect required for the correction of myopia.
Because Conductive Keratoplasty is elective surgery (cosmetic), most health insurance plans do not cover it. Financing options are available to make CK more affordable. For more information about financing, ask your eye care professional.
Conductive Keratoplasty is intended for the temporary reduction of farsightedness (hyperopia) (+0.75 to +3.00 diopters) and presbyopia in people over the age of 40.