Conductive Keratoplasty Eye Surgery

Conductive Keratoplasty eye surgery uses heat from radio waves to correct the shape of the cornea by reducing collagen around the cornea. Collagen is a glue-like substance found in the periphery of the cornea. This noninvasive eye surgery is performed to correct hyperopia and presbyopia, both common vision problems. CK is a new technique that helps patients who are farsighted have better vision. At this time if you are nearsighted, conductive Keratoplasty will not work for you but new studies are pending.

Problems with surgical techniques have been addressed. Previously the cornea had a tendency to revert to its original shape and the surgery would need to be repeated for ideal results. New research has made the surgery more stable and is more widely used than in the past. Scientists are still deciding if this surgery will be comparable to LASIK surgery.


Currently this technology is owned and controlled by Refractec, Incorporated out of California. The surgery is expensive at a cost of $1500 to $2000 for each eye. A surgeon who wants to invest in this system should be ready to spend close to $50,000!

Conductive Keratoplasty received approval from the FDA in 2002 for patients over 40 with only a mild problem with farsightedness. In 2004 the FDA included presbyopia in its approval. Presbyopia develops in middle age when the lens begins to stiffen and can no longer focus on all three distances at the same time. With CK surgery for presbyopia, only one eye is corrected, usually the nondominant eye. Patients who have hyperopia will need both eyes corrected.

Once a patient with presbyopia is treated, they should be able to see near ranges, while the untreated eye will be able to see medium and far ranges. The advantage of conductive keroplasty is the patient will be less likely to suffer from blurry distance vision.

CK Procedure

The procedure for CK uses heat therapy from radio frequency waves to shrink the collagen around the edges of the eye and changes the shape of the cornea. A map is created of your cornea to see how much it must shrink to give you better vision. It will display all the curves and steep parts of the cornea that will need corrected. Using this map, the surgeon will then start the surgery. A tiny pen shaped probe is used to releases the radio waves. This simple surgery takes about 15 minutes.

Once you have chosen a surgeon he may test you with monovision contact lenses that will correct one eye for near vision and the other one for far vision. If the contacts correct your sight, the surgeon will consider you a good candidate for CK surgery. One important fact to remember is that your contact lens or eyeglass prescription must not have changed in the previous year to be a candidate for this procedure. It is also important to know the FDA considers CK surgery to be a temporary vision correction. New improvements in techniques have helped the outcomes be more stabilized.