Ask an Eye M.D. Answer Archive

Please read our important medical disclaimer.

Question:
I am 60 years old and had a successful radial keratotomy (RK) procedure (a surgery to correct nearsightedness) done in 1996. I now need corrective lenses again. Generally speaking, are previous RK patients ever eligible and appropriate candidates for a laser corrective procedure (LASIK)? I would like to correct my vision again so that I don't have to wear corrective lenses most of the time. I am a nurse and understand each case is individual. But I would like to know if I should even invest the time to pursue this.

Answer:
RK patients can be eligible for a photorefractive keratectomy (or PRK, a surgery similar to LASIK that corrects refractive errors) but LASIK may be challenging as the RK cuts do not do well with the LASIK flap. PRK can be very effective in reducing refractive error after RK, but at age 60, the best solution is likely either waiting for cataract surgery or having a refractive lens exchange (RLE). The latter is like cataract surgery in which the crystalline lens that forms into a cataract later in life can be exchanged for a corrective lens implant. A variety of implants are available to correct vision. Your eye surgeon can discuss which one is best for your eye. The bottom line is that there are options for correcting your vision despite having prior RK surgery.

Answered by: W. Barry Lee, MDDr. W. Barry Lee

Categories: Eye Surgery, Vision Correction

Have a question that hasn't been answered yet? Ask it!

Answered: Aug 14, 2014

Pop needs to be configured.