CK Surgery (Conduct Keratoplasty)
A non-laser method of correcting both farsightedness (hyperopia) and age-related farsightedness (presbyopia), conductive keratoplasty (CKTM) utilizes radio frequency energy to change the focusing power of the eye. By directing the energy at the collagen tissue thecornea, in concentric circles, the process adds contour to the tissue so that the eye can focus on near objects.
* The average cost of CK (Conduct Keratoplasty) runs from about $1,000 to $1,800 per eye.
Because this is considered elective surgery, it is usually not covered by health insurance. However, many practices makefinancing options available to their patients.
Conduct Keratoplasty does not require an incision and no eye tissue removed.
- What are the most common benefits of this surgery?
- How is the procedure performed?
- How long does the surgery take?
- Where will the procedure be performed?
- How much pain is there?
- What can I expect after the procedure?
- What is the recovery period like?
- What is the long-term outcome like for most people?
- Ideal Candidate:
- Other important information
- Risks and Limitations:
What are the most common benefits of CK surgery?
The goal of CK is to free a patient from lenses needed to correct their farsightedness or presbyopia. This a safe, minimally invasive procedure to help patients correct farsightedness. Patients may no longer require the use of reading glasses post-treatment. In previous studies, including a 12-month testing period, results for the procedure in treating farsightedness, most patients did not need lenses. Fifty-six percent of the patients had 20/20 vision or better, 70 percent had 20/25 or better and 93 percent had 20/40 or better. These results were also done with no retreatments, so in non-test conditions the results would be slightly more positive.
How is CK eye surgery performed?
The patient is taken into the minor surgery suite where he/she lays down under the operating microscope. Anesthetic drops are placed in the eye to numb them. Depending on the type and severity of the cornea curvature, thermal spots are positioned in one or more ring formations just outside of the line of sight of the eye. The surgeon does this by placing the tiny penetrating tip of the radio frequency generator into the cornea and applying the energy. The conductive qualities of the corneal tissue transfer the energy as heat, denaturing the collagen at the spot. The circular column of flattened corneal tissue that is formed is very small, approximately 100 microns wide and 500 microns deep. When created in ring formations this increases (steepens) the curvature of the cornea, enabling the eye to focus on near objects.
Once the desired curvature is achieved, the patient then leaves the operating suite and begins administering antibiotic and analgesic eye drops four times a day. A prescription for a pain medicine is also provided, though most patients do not need to take more than a Tylenol or aspirin postoperatively.
How long does the surgery take?
The procedure is very quick, running two to five minutes per eye.
Where will the procedure be performed?
The procedure can be performed in the ophthalmologist's office or a minor surgery suite of a hospital.
How much pain is there?
Local anesthesia, in the form of numbing eye drops, are administered at the beginning of the procedure so there is no pain during the surgery. There is usually no pain afterwards other than some mild tenderness or scratchiness for a few days after the surgery. This tenderness can be treated using over-the-counter medicine such as acetaminophen or aspirin.
What can I expect after the procedure?
You will need someone to drive you home after the surgery. Mild eye irritation for several days is not uncommon. Generally, patients notice improvement of vision as soon as the first day after surgery, although gradual improvements may continue for several weeks afterwards. Recovery is very quick, as no tissue has been removed during the procedure and no flap has been cut that has to heal.
What is the recovery period like?
Two to three days after the surgery, most patients who experience eye tenderness will find it gone. Vision may be greatly improved at this point, but can get better for several weeks afterward. Compared to other vision surgery procedures, the recovery period for CK is quick and relatively pain free.
What is the long-term outcome like for most people?
In the most comprehensive study of CK to date, the FDA clinical trials, the 12-month results for the procedure in treating farsightedness were as follows: 56 percent of the patients had 20/20 vision or better, 70 percent had 20/25 or better and 93 percent had 20/40 or better. The results appear to be stable, but because the procedure is so new, very long-term data are not yet available.
The ideal candidate for this procedure would be someone suffering from farsightedness.
Other important information
The company that makes the radio frequency generator used in CKTM is called Refractec. iEnhnace will provide further information on credentialed and trained physicians for these procedures as they receive FDA approvals for the U.S.
Risks and Limitations:
Eye irritation is the only side effect that has been noted so far. However, if the energy is not applied correctly to the surface of the cornea, astigmatism (irregularities) in the surface could cause vision problems.
The information on this web site is only intended as an introduction to this procedure and should not be used to determine whether you will have the procedure performed nor as a guarantee of the result. The best method of determining your options is to consult qualified surgeons who are able to answer specific questions related to your situation.
*Disclaimer: Costs source: According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (ASAPS), nationally in 2010. Most surgeons offer convenient payments plans for this procedure. Cost does not include anesthesia, operating room facility, hospital stay, and other related expenses. Costs may vary depending the extensiveness of the procedure, location, and other factors. Costs are provided solely for research purposes. For specific estimates, please contact a qualified plastic surgeon.