RK in 1990, 2 on Right Eye, 3 on Left eye

The 2 photos below (which were stained with a special dye) are the right and left corneas of a patient who underwent Radial Keratotomy (RK) surgery in 1990. This patient had 2 separate RK surgeries on her right eye and 3 separate RK surgeries on her left eye. For 10 years following her surgeries she was able to see relatively well and perform her job. She is a physician who was forced to stop working about 15 years ago due to poor vision. Note the brightly colored radial cuts on both eyes. These cuts are lit up because they are still open after all these years. These eyes are also at a risk for infection due to these open cuts. Both corneas are so distorted that eyeglasses and conventional contact lenses are not able to provide this patient with functional vision. The last image seen below is a 3-D computer enhanced image of the front surface of this patient’s left cornea. Note how flat and irregular the ocular surface is. Both of this patient’s eyes were fit with scleral lenses which are providing clear stable vision to this patient once again. The purpose of my posting these images is to make a point: There was no science behind this surgery. The FDA was not involved in the development or marketing of Radial Keratotomy. When RK surgery came about there was no information about the long term complications of RK surgery. Patients interested in the newer refractive surgeries need to know that there are many “unknowns” and “unknowables” when it comes to all elective eye surgeries.

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