Conductive Keratoplasty (CK ): A New Procedure for the Farsighted

CK (Conductive Keratoplasty) is the first non-laser procedure for farsightedness(+ 0.75 to +3 diopters). The farsighted patient has a cornea that is too flat. Too little curvature of the cornea causes the light coming into the eye to focus somewhere behind the retina resulting in blurred distance and near vision. CK reshapes the cornea to give it a steeper curvature, moving the focus to the retina.

Presbyopia, the type of farsightedness that occurs during middle age, begins to take effect on people in their early forties and affects everyone by the age of fifty. Gradually newsprint becomes more difficult to read at close distances, as the words appear smaller.

Symptoms of farsightedness

  • Begin needing glasses after age 40.

  • Currently wears bifocals.

  • Difficulty reading menus, computer screen, the alarm clock, or driving at night.

  • Eye fatigue when reading in poor lighting or at the end of the day.

  • Trouble changing focus from distance to near.

  • Constantly repositions reading material in an attempt to find the right focus.

  • As the first alternative to laser for farsightedness, CK represents a revolutionary option for those patients who thought they'd never be rid of their glasses.

  • Who can be a candidate for CK

    This procedure is for patients who need only reading glasses, have excellent distance vision, and have had good vision all of their lives.

    The average age of patients is between 54 and 55. Safe and fast, CK usually produces results in a weeks time.

    To go in for surgery you should have no physical conditions such as diabetes, pregnancy, or pacemaker

    You should meet with an ophthalmologist to consider other qualifications to determine if you will be a successful candidate



    CK is performed with a small pen shaped instrument inserted into the cornea. This customized instrument emits and controls radiofrequency energy (RF) into the eye, producing heat that makes the cornea steeper. Before surgery, the doctor will map out a pattern of 8, 16, 24, or 36 treatment points. The probe is then inserted at 80% of corneal depth at each point.. RF is then distributed to each point through the Keratoplast tip at a rate of 0.6 millijoules at 0.6 seconds, changing the shape of the cornea. The result of this changes the way the cornea directs light to the rest of the eye.

    CK has the highest safety profile of any refractive procedure that has been approved by the FDA.

    CK takes about 3 to 5 minutes per eye, and usually only one eye is done. Pain is reduced during surgery through the use of a topical anesthetic in the form of eye drops. When necessary, a mild sedative can be given to patients who need to be more relaxed. The procedure is relatively painless, involves no cutting, and can be done in the doctor's office or clinic. For patients who require treatment in both eyes, CK is typically performed on both eyes on the same day one eye immediately after the other.

    After the surgery:

    It is normal to have light sensitivity and some blurriness in the first few weeks after the surgery. Tearing is also normal with extended reading in the first few weeks. During this time you will be able to work and function well, using the untreated eye. No patch is needed.

    What to Expect after CK:

    • Take antibiotic eye drops 4 times daily for 1 week

    • Doctor checkups at 1 day, 1 week, and 1,3,6, and 12 months

    • Improved vision within a weeks time

    • Must avoid getting contaminated water, soap, and sweat in eyes.
      Patients are advised to avoid hot tubs, swimming pools and bodies of water like lakes and oceans for two weeks.

    • Avoid wearing eye makeup

    • Possible scratchiness or foreign object sensation in eye

    • 98% of patients could read newspaper print at twelve month follow up

    Once the healing is complete, you can expect good reading for most tasks: menus, alarm clocks, computer work, prices on store shelves, and golf scorecards. Extended reading of small print may require stronger reading glasses.

    As the eye needs more strength with increasing age, enhancements to the initial treatment can be performed.

    Side Effects of CK

    Some side effects of the procedure include: double images, halos, blurry vision, and original over-correction. These side effects occur in a very small percentage and are almost always reversed by the twelve-week checkup.


    The average cost of CK 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 make financing options available to their patients.

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