Conductive keratoplasty is a minimally invasive refractive procedure designed to decease a person’s dependency on reading glasses due to presbyopia.
What is Presbyopia?
Presbyopia occurs when a person reaches their forties and the lens inside the eye loses its ability to focus from distance to near. The ability of the human lens to focus from distance to near gradually decreases through the forties and fifties until a person reaches their sixties. People who have good vision at distance begin to wear reading glasses in their forties in order to read.
How does Conductive Keratoplasty Work?
A radio frequency probe with a 450 micron tip is placed on the cornea in a circular pattern in the mid cornea. The tip is inserted into the cornea and heats up to a preset temperature. The heat causes collagen in the cornea to contract and this causes the shape of the cornea to becoming steeper in shape. The steeper cornea focuses objects closer to the eye.
Who is a Candidate for Conductive Keratoplasty?
- 1. You are over age forty
- 2. You have had excellent distance vision all you life without glasses and now need reading glasses.
- 3. You are able to tolerate monovision with a loss of some of your distance vision in one eye.
Work-up Prior to Conductive Keratoplasty
You will need a thorough eye exam with corneal topography and pachymetry to evaluate your cornea to make sure that you are a candidate for the surgery. The eye surgeon will also need to determine which is your dominant and non-dominant eye. The non-dominant eye will be the eye that will have the surgery for near vision.
The surgery is performed in the eye surgeon’s office and topical anesthesia is used to numb the eye. A lid speculum is used to keep the eye open during the surgery. A marker which is coated with a dye is used to place the surgical pattern on the cornea. The tip is then placed on the cornea and the conductive keratoplasty machine applies the treatment. The number of treatment spots determines the amount of correction achieved. The surgery is painless and eye patches are not needed.
After Conductive Keratoplasty Surgery
You will have a foreign body sensation for 1 or 2 days after the surgery. The vision will be very blurred at distance and even up close for a period of time. The vision gradually improves with the near vision clearing first. The distance vision also gradually improves over the first two to three months. Compared to other methods of monovision, CK provides better distance vision. This is referred to as a blended vision where the eye is able to see up close while retaining some distance vision.
Results of Conductive Keratoplasty Surgery
Conductive keratoplasty is a very safe procedure compared to other refractive surgeries. The results though are not totally permanent. There is some regression with conductive keratoplasty but also the presbyopia continues to progress. This is a safe procedure that can provide relief from reading glasses for several years. It can still provide help with computer use for many more years.