Potential risks with radial keratotomy

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Updated: 4/11/2007 2:48 pm
As with any other surgical procedure, RK (R-K) can pose a risk for complications. RK involves the traditional method of scalpel surgery, and is very dependent on the skill of the surgeon. This introduces the additional risk of human error, as opposed to PRK (P-R-K), which relies greatly on the precision of high-tech equipment. Since RK involves the cutting of tissue, there’s a chance the incisions may go too deep or not deep enough, creating undercorrection or overcorrection of vision. Also, the cuts may produce a weakened cornea that’s more vulnerable to rupture if hit directly. Some patients have reported fluctuating vision, especially after the first few months of surgery. This may indicate the need for additional vision correction surgery. Glare and haze around lights have also been reported by RK patients. In addition, there is the possibility of not being able to wear contact lenses after the operation because contacts will not properly adhere to the flattened cornea. Other potential risks include: astigmatism, drooping eyelids, double vision, cataracts, glaucoma, retinal detachment, dry eyes, and eye stroke. While any of these conditions are possible, they actually happen very rarely. It’s important, however, to take the time to search for a well-trained and experienced eye surgeon before undergoing the operation.

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