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LightTouch NearVision CK Conductive Keratoplasty Eye Surgery for Presbyopia

Presbyopia eye surgery to provide multifocal monovision correction to see near and distance, reducing or eliminating the need for bifocals or reading glasses.

Nonprofit Lasik laser eye surgery patient advocacy with network of evaluated Lasik doctors and detailed laser eye surgery information.
LightTouch and conventional CK uses a probe to introduce Radio Frequency (RF) energy into the cornea. The RF energy causes the corneal collagen to shrink.


Nonprofit Lasik laser eye surgery patient advocacy with network of evaluated Lasik doctors and detailed laser eye surgery information.
One, two, or three concentric rings of treatment spots are applied to the periphery of the cornea.


Nonprofit Lasik laser eye surgery patient advocacy with network of evaluated Lasik doctors and detailed laser eye surgery information.
The shrinkage of the collagen in a circle around the periphery of the cornea causes the edges to contract and move the center outward, creating a myopic shift.


Nonprofit Lasik laser eye surgery patient advocacy with network of evaluated Lasik doctors and detailed laser eye surgery information.
The CK probe compared to the thickness of a strand of human hair. The LightTouch CK technique requires less pressure as the probe enters the cornea.

Images courtesy Refractec


LightTouch NearVision CK eye surgery is a refractive surgery procedure originally developed for hyperopia, but now used primarily as a modified form of monovision and is often an appropriate alternative to conventional or custom wavefront Lasik, Bladeless Lasik, PRK, LASEK, or Epi-Lasik.

CK uses a probe to apply high radio frequency (RF) energy into corneal tissue, causing shrinkage. This controlled shrinkage will reshape the cornea to change refractive error by changing the curvature of the cornea, making it steeper.

NearVision CK is a monovision technique that induces myopia in the patient's non-dominant eye to help people with presbyopia see items both near and distant. Presbyopia is when you need to use reading glasses or bifocals.

There is no substantive difference between NearVision CK eye surgery and CK, except the purpose and goal of the surgery. LightTouch CK eye surgery is a developing CK eye surgery technique wherein the surgeon applies very little pressure during the process. LightTouch CK eye surgery appears to provide greater effectiveness than conventional CK. LIghtTouch CK eye surgery can be used for NearVision CK eye surgery monovision correction.

Monovision - But Different

Although NearVision CK eye surgery induces monovision in the patient's non-dominant eye to provide better near vision, the effects are not quite the same as monovision with Lasik or monovision with a standard contact lens. Recent studies have determined that NearVision CK eye surgery creates a multifocal cornea. This may explain why some patients with NearVision CK eye surgery are able to see well at near (as expected) and distance (not expected) with CK.

It is almost always a good idea to try monovision with contact lenses before having it with surgery, however a regular single-vision contact lens may not provide as accurate a NearVision CK experience as using a multifocal contact lens on the non-dominant eye  and slightly over-plussing the patient. Discuss this technique with your doctor.

Originally For Hyperopia, Now Presbyopia

CK eye surgery was first FDA approved as a treatment for hyperopia, however hyperopia treatment with CK has been all but abandoned. Most doctors prefer the more permanent conventional or custom wavefront Lasik, Bladeless Lasik, PRK, LASEK, Epi-Lasik, P-IOL, or RLE to resolve hyperopia. Nearly all CK eye surgery performed today is NearVision CK for the temporary induction of myopia of 1.00 - 2.00 diopters to improve near vision in the non-dominant eye of presbyopic hyperopes or presbyopic emmetropes, via spherical hyperopic treatment of 1.00 diopter to 2.25 diopters. Most NearVision CK patients are either presbyopic or pseudophakic with single focus IOL

In The Doctor's Office

CK eye surgery is performed in a doctor's office, requiring about three minutes of treatment per eye. Topical anesthetic drops limit any feeling in the eye during surgery. During surgery a probe thinner than a strand of human hair is inserted about 1/3rd of the depth of the cornea and RF energy is applied. The energy is applied and re-applied in a circular pattern on the outer cornea to shrink small areas of collagen. Because this pattern is applied in the periphery of the cornea interference with the visual axis is minimized. Shrinking the outer edge of the cornea creates a constrictive band that will cause steepening of the curvature of the cornea. There is no difference in the CK eye surgery process with NearVision CK. LightTouch CK requires less pressure of the probe into the cornea.

The release of RF energy heats the surrounding corneal tissue, but the tip of the probe remains cool and the probe does not directly apply heat. The heat is caused by the cornea's natural resistance to RF energy.

Visual Recovery

The CK eye surgery patient can usually return to work or normal activities the next day with "functional fuzzy" vision. Vision generally begins improving in about a week's time.. The most common patient complaints are a foreign-body sensation, excessive tearing, glare, halos from light sources at night, general ocular discomfort, initial overcorrection, and induced astigmatism.

On the rare occasion when astigmatism problems do occur, the quality of vision may be quite poor and even worse in low light environments, such as driving at night. CK eye surgery seems to have a unique healing process that often resolves part or all of an induced astigmatism problem. The initial results settle down in about a week, but astigmatism induced by CK may get worse for a few weeks reaching it's worse point at about one month postop. Vision then tends to get better with a final result 60-90 days after surgery. For this reason, immediate enhancement surgery for induced CK astigmatism or corneal irregularities may not be appropriate. It may be better to wait, depending upon the exact nature of the problem.

As with any vision treatment procedure where the cornea is altered, certain precautions should be taken. After the LightTouch NearVision CK eye surgery procedure, patients should avoid getting contaminated water in their eyes for at least one week. This includes water from swimming pools, spas, lakes and the ocean. When showering or taking baths, patients should keep their eyes closed in order to avoid getting soap and dirty water into their eyes. When exercising, sweat should be kept out of the eyes for at least a week after the procedure. Also, patients should avoid rubbing their eyes vigorously for two weeks following the procedure. Women should also avoid applying eye makeup for one week after the procedure.

Temporary Correction

CK effects are temporary, regressing at a rate of about 1.00 diopter every 2-3 years after the initial six month healing process. Eventually, all CK eye surgery effects will dissipate and the cornea will return to preoperative levels. Although CK will fully regress, it is not reversible, per se. Once the procedure has been performed, it is not possible to "remove" its effects. Only time will dissipate he effects of CK.

A very important caution would be to not have a permanent surgery to correct any problem induced solely by CK. The effects from CK are temporary. If absolutely nothing is done to the eye, eventually all CK eye surgery effects will dissipate and the eye will return to its condition before surgery. What is not wanted is to use a permanent correction technique, such as Lasik, Bladeless Lasik, PRK, LASEK, or Epi-Lasik, to correct temporary problems induced by CK.

As an example, think of astigmatism as a bump on the cornea induced by CK. Lasik can get rid of that bump, but eventually the CK forces that caused the bump will dissipate. That would leave you with a hole. You would go from one problem into another. If you need enhancement after CK, in nearly every case the only appropriate enhancement technique would be more CK. Enhancement with CK, often called "bonus spots", tend to be the best response on the rare occasion when the desired outcome is not attained with the initial surgery.


The LightTouch NearVision CK equipment can produce interference that may adversely influence the operation of other electronic equipment. Therefore, NearVision CK eye surgery is contraindicated for patients who are wearing a pacemaker.

You should not have CK eye surgery if your cornea is unusually thin, you have strabismus or are predisposed to strabismus, have any disease of the eye including cataract that needs to be treated, have an irregular cornea, if you are blind in one eye, have had previous corneal surgery including refractive surgery, have a history of herpes zoster or herpes simplex keratitis, respond unusually to steroids, have glaucoma, diabetes, autoimmune disorder or immunocompromised, connective tissue disorder, atopic syndrome, are using any ophthalmic medications other than artificial tears, have a history of keloid formation, are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are lactating.

A website targeted towards the patient and sponsored by Refractec, the manufacture of the medical device used for CK, can be found at My Clear Vision.

Looking For Best Lasik Surgeon?

If you are ready to choose a doctor to be evaluated for conventional or custom wavefront Lasik, Bladeless Lasik, PRK, or any refractive surgery procedure, we recommend you consider a doctor who has been evaluated and certified by the USAEyes nonprofit organization. Locate a USAEyes Evaluated & Certified Lasik Doctor.

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Recent Conductive Keratoplasty Journal Articles...

Related Articles

Combined astigmatic keratotomy and conductive keratoplasty to correct high corneal astigmatism.

J Cataract Refract Surg. 2015 Apr 29;

Authors: Sy ME, Kovoor TA, Tannan A, Choi D, Deng SX, Danesh J, Hamilton DR

PURPOSE: To determine the safety, efficacy, and predictability of combined astigmatic keratotomy (AK) and conductive keratoplasty (CK) for treating high corneal astigmatism.
SETTING: University of California-Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, USA.
DESIGN: Retrospective case series.
METHODS: From January 1, 2004, to December 31, 2009, AK and CK were performed in eyes with corneal astigmatism of 5.0 diopters (D) or more after keratoplasty or trauma. The uncorrected (UDVA) and corrected (CDVA) distance visual acuities, spherical equivalent (SE), defocus equivalent, mean astigmatism, efficacy index, and complications were evaluated.
RESULTS: In 11 eyes of 11 patients, the mean UDVA improved from 1.54 logMAR ± 0.50 (SD) preoperatively to 0.69 ± 0.62 logMAR 3 months postoperatively (P < .001) and the mean CDVA from 0.55 ± 0.62 logMAR to 0.12 ± 0.11 logMAR (P = .028). The mean SE and mean defocus equivalent decreased from -1.25 ± 5.06 D to 3.13 ± 3.06 D (P = .15) and from 7.98 ± 4.41 D to 6.97 ± 3.73 D (P = .45), respectively; these changes were not statistically significant. The mean absolute astigmatism decreased from 10.25 ± 4.71 D to 4.31 ± 2.34 D (P < .001). The mean absolute orthogonal and mean oblique astigmatism showed a statistically significant decrease. The efficacy index was 0.82. One case of wound gape after AK required suturing. No infectious keratitis, corneal perforation, or graft rejection occurred.
CONCLUSIONS: Results indicate that combined AK and CK is safe and effective for correcting high corneal astigmatism after surgery or trauma.
FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE: No author has a financial or proprietary interest in any material or method mentioned.

PMID: 25935339 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]


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