Radial Keratotomy was a good procedure that corrected the imperfect vision of myopia by surgically altering the shape of the cornea. The treatment involves making several carefully planned radial incisions around the centre of the cornea. These incisions cause the cornea to flatten. The number, length, depth and placement of the incisions determine the amount of flattening. This flattening can correct a significant amount of nearsightedness and some types of astigmatism. Whether or not your condition can be effectively treated by RK can only be determined after a thorough examination and consultation.

This however is an older procedure and not performed anymore. Lasers have become the procedure of choice.

Radial Keratotomy was done as an outpatient procedure in the hospital. Usually only one eye was treated at a time. The procedure was done under high magnification using a special operating microscope and takes about thirty minutes. As the eye is easily anaesthetised with drops, there is no pain or discomfort.

During the surgery an optical zone is marked in the centre of the eye and a “Corneal Map” is indicated on the cornea to show the position and number of incisions needed for correction. Precise microscopic control of these micro incisions provides the exact length, depth and placement that has been calculated as necessary to achieve proper optical correction. The eye is usually covered with a patch for a short time after surgery.


Radial keratotomy has been performed successfully since 1973 and very few patients have experienced any serious complications. Nevertheless, any type of surgery involves some risk.

Some patients may experience side effects such as a variation in vision, a starburst effect at night, or an increased sensitivity to light. Most of these effects should diminish with time.