Rk Radial Keratotomy

Candidates | Fitting | Expectation

RK- Radial Keratotomy?

Radial Keratotomy (RK) is a surgical procedure used to decrease nearsightedness. During the procedure, radial incisions are made in the cornea of the eye with a highly precise diamond blade set to a particular depth. The number of incisions and their location is determined by the degree of nearsightedness. These incisions allow the sides of the cornea to bulge outward and thereby flatten the central portion of the cornea. This brings the focal point of the eye closer to the retina and improves one’s distance vision.

Unfortunately, most patients who have had RK surgery will experience vision changes at some point in their lifetime. RK patients who experience minor vision changes will need spectacles or normal contact lenses. For those who suffer from ectasia (extreme thinning of the corneal tissue) and distortion, medically necessary contact lenses or surgery will be your only choice to improve your vision.

  • To correct refractive errors (primarily nearsightness, but also astigmatism and hyperopia). In some cases, ortho-k also is used to correct presbyopia.
  • To slow the progression of childhood myopia.


Extreme thinning of the corneal or ectasia can be a later result of RK surgery for some patients. This thinning can cause distortion and blurred vision. It is thought that this thinning is a gradual process and flattening of the central cornea secondary to a structural integrity loss from the RK incisions.


The most common symptoms among these patients include irregular astigmatism, loss of vision, distorted vision, and double vision. We are unable to correct the vision problem with spectacles or traditional contact lenses and medically necessary contact lenses will be needed.

In the most severe cases of cornea distortion and scar tissue post-RK eye surgery, a corneal transplant will be required to provide clear vision. Medically necessary contact lenses will also be needed to restore the vision.


The best, modern, and most comfortable contact lenses available are scleral lenses and our doctors are the experts. These contact lenses allow our doctors to customize the contact lenses for the best vision and comfort. These lenses allow our patients to be active and participate in outdoor activities, even on a dusty or windy day. Most patients report these are as comfortable as soft contact lenses, and often, the most comfortable contact lenses ever! They even have a constant fluid reservoir and provide comfort for the dry eye symptoms often occurring after RK eye surgery.

Recent technology scleral contact lenses with reverse geometry designs allow us to obtain even better vision and comfort for our patients with complications after RK eye surgery. Since the cornea typically flattens after RK eye surgery, the reverse curve of the contact lenses accommodates the flattened cornea post-surgery and provides better vision and more comfort. These contact lenses are now available in bifocal designs to accommodate those patients who experience reading difficulty as well as blurred or distorted distance vision.

Please call our office and let our expert doctors help you. Our office phone is 214.739.8611 Ext 1 and a staff member will answer any questions you may have.