What is Conductive Keratoplasty?

Conductive Keratoplasty, often called CK used to treat presbyopia. CK uses radio waves to shrink the collagen at the outer edge of the cornea.

This increases the corneal curvature, increasing clarity at closer visual distances. Until 2007, when Monovision LASIK was approved, CK was the only FDA approved corneal procedure for treating presbyopia.

Presbyopia is a refractive error, or loss of clear vision, that occurs with aging. It usually begins when people are in their 40s.

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It’s cause is believed to be either a gradual hardening or stiffening of the natural lens, or loss of muscle tone that controls this lens.

In either case, the lens doesn’t bend as well as in earlier years. The lens’ flexibility is what enables it to react to changes in visual distance and focus quickly and clearly.

How It Works?

Since Conductive Keratoplasty is used to reduce farsightedness, it is primarily used to treat just the non-dominant eye. CK uses radio waves to shrink the collagen around the outer edge of the cornea.

As the collagen shrinks it pulls the outer edge tighter, which, in turn, increases the dome shape of the cornea. The steeper the dome, the better the focus for close vision. Your eye surgeon will mark the areas to shrink based upon how much change he wants in your vision.

In Near Vision conductive keratoplasty this procedure is used to create monovision. Flatter corneas focus better at far distances.

In monovision, one eye is treated to improve near vision and the other eye is left untreated to allow it to focus on distances.

By leaving the dominant eye untreated, it can focus for distance. Sometimes a contact lens is needed to get the best distance vision for the dominant eye. It may take a few weeks to adjust to monovision, but the brain usually adapts well. The biggest adjustment to monovision is the loss of depth perception.

But, some people never adjust to monovision. So, it’s a good idea to try temporary monovision using contact lenses before surgery to be sure you can adjust well.

Pros and Cons of Conductive Keratoplasty:

  • can usually return to work the day after surgery
  • painless
  • may not need reading glasses for a long time
  • more effective monovision than contacts or laser eye surgery
  • less blurring than with laser eye surgery
  • treated eye may also see better at distances in some patients
  • fuzzy vision improves within a week
  • minimally invasive
  • fewer complications than other refractive procedures
  • recovery is slower than with LASIK
  • recovery and stable vision may take up to six
  • months
  • monovision results in loss of depth perception
  • effects diminish over time – may last 6 months to 2 years, and decrease gradually
  • may see halos around lights
  • astigmatism possible from surgery – this will correct itself without treatment
  • Indications

  • sufficient corneal tissue to do the procedure
  • to treat presbyopia or farsightedness
  • corneal shape within treatable range (correctable within 1-2 diopters)
  • adequate tearing, moisture
  • Contra-Indications

  • thin or irregular corneas
  • engage in hobbies or professional activities that are rough or pose risk of hitting eyes
  • dry eye
  • lens prescription changes within two years
  • previous corneal surgery
  • blind in one eye
  • cataracts
  • glaucoma
  • pregnancy or nursing (lactating)
  • corneal scarring
  • taking eye medications, steroids or immunosuppressants
  • eye disease or abnormalities that will slow healing such as:
  • diabetic retinopathy
  • ocular hypertension
  • autoimmune disorders
  • Herpes simplex of the eye
  • hypertension
  • connective tissue disorder
  • Associated Risks

    CK has risks that are similar to other laser eye surgery procedures. Though rare, the ones that occur most often include:

  • light sensitivity for about a week
  • visual fluctuations normal for first few weeks
  • over- or under-corrections
  • halos or starbursts around lights
  • erosion of the epithelium
  • dry eye
  • infection
  • corneal scarring
  • eyelid droop
  • chronic discomfort
  • inability to tolerate contact lenses

  • Return From Conductive Keratoplasty To Lasik