Conductive Keratoplasty is an innovative procedure that uses radio waves to shrink collagen tissue within the cornea treating low to moderate farsightedness and presbyopia and bring near vision back in focus.
What is Presbyopia?
Presbyopia is an inevitable age-related eye condition that makes it difficult to read or see objects up close without the use of reading glasses. Presbyopia is the first sign of cataracts and is the most prevalent eye condition in America. It causes the crystalline lens to increasingly stiffen, lose flexibility and cloud, diminishing its focusing ability. Learn more about presbyopia.
How Does CK Work?
Using a small probe, thinner than a strand of human hair, a controlled release of radio waves are applied in a circular pattern on the outer cornea to shrink small areas of collagen. This creates a restrictive band, like the tightening of a belt, which increases the curvature of the cornea. CK makes the cornea steeper and increases its focusing power.
Video: Presbyopia Treatment
Presbyopia is the stiffening of the lens that occurs as we reach middle age, effecting the eye's ability to focus on close objects. A new technique called Conductive Keratoplasty or "CK" treats this condition with radio frequency. This noninvasive procedure tightens collagen along the edges of the cornea to increase depth of focus -- typically in just one eye. This painless, outpatient process takes just 3-5 minutes in the doctor's office and results in the ability to read without glasses.
NearVision CK® is for Those Who:
- Want to reduce or eliminate their dependence on glasses, reading glasses or contacts
- Have difficulty with close vision
- Are at least 40 years of age
- Have not had a significant change in their vision for one year
- Have no health issues affecting their eyes
- Have not had previous vision correction surgery
- Are not pregnant or nursing
Your CK Procedure:
NearVision CK® does not require a surgical facility. First, your eye will be completely numbed with powerful eye drop anesthesia. When your eye is completely numb, an eyelid holder will be placed between your eyelids to keep you from blinking during the procedure.
Then either sitting upright as if undergoing an eye exam or lying back, you'll be asked to look at the microscope light. Your eye will be marked with a series of dots. Your surgeon will touch the dots with the probe making a full circle around the outer margins of the cornea. Depending on the amount of correction needed. As the dots are touched, heat from the radio waves shrinks the tissue, producing a clenching effect that creates a more curved cornea. Some patients elect to have only one eye treated to give them monovision. There will be eight to 32 treatment points.
Soon after the procedure, your eyes will be examined and you will go home and relax for the rest of the day. For the first couple of days, you may experience some scratchiness in your eyes, or excessive watering. This rapidly improves and medications can be taken to relieve any discomfort. Normal activities are generally resumed within a day or two. While many patients see improvement in their near vision immediately after the procedure, it usually takes a few weeks to several months for vision to stabilize and the results to be fully realized. As with other vision correction procedures, you may experience some discomfort and light sensitivity (glare or halos) for a few days following NearVision CK®.
What to expect after the CK Procedure
- Dimmer vision indoors or at night compared to outside or in bright lights
- Mild to moderate burning, watering and irritation for 2-3 days
- Glare or halos, especially when driving at night, for about 1 month
- Slight over correction of your vision for a few weeks
- Distant objects may appear blurry, but near objects should be very clear
- Expect your vision to "stabilize" in approximately 1 to 3 months
- No rubbing the eye(s) for 2 months
- No eye make-up for 3 days - You may resume moisturizer and/or foundation the following day
- Wear eye(s) shield at bedtime for the first night
- You may bathe or shower but avoid direct water or shampoo in eyes
- No swimming for 2 weeks including pools, lakes, oceans, hot tubs, and saunas
- No exercise for the first full day after your procedure
- Protect your eye from the sun and wind
- Wear eye protection in situations such as contact sports
NearVision CK® FAQs
How is NearVision CK® performed?
NearVision CK® uses radio waves, instead of a laser or scalpel, to reshape the cornea and bring near vision back into focus. NearVision CK® is performed using a small probe, thinner than a strand of human hair, that releases radio waves. The probe is applied in a circular pattern on the outer cornea to shrink small areas of collagen. This circular shrinkage pattern creates a constrictive band (like the tightening of a belt), increasing the overall curvature of the cornea. The procedure, which takes less than three minutes, is done in-office with only topical anesthesia (eye drops).
Will you be cutting the cornea?
No. NearVision CK® is performed without the cutting or removal of tissue. It is a safe, minimally invasive procedure for baby boomers that struggle to read a newspaper, menu, alarm clock or computer.
Is radiofrequency (RF) energy safe for use on the eye?
Yes. The use of RF energy is one of today's most advanced surgical techniques. In addition to its use in NearVision CK®, RF technology is being used in prostate cancer therapy, back surgery, even cardiovascular procedures.
Will my vision improve immediately after the NearVision CK® procedure?
Patients usually notice an immediate improvement in their vision after the NearVision CK® procedure. However, it usually takes several weeks for the eyes to adjust to the final level of treatment.
Will my vision fluctuate after NearVision CK® is performed?
Most patients will experience mild fluctuation in their vision after the procedure, but few notice it. Any fluctuation will usually subside within a few weeks. Patients who have a procedure to steepen the cornea (presbyopia or hyperopia), regardless of the procedure, usually require a longer stabilization period than those who receive a treatment that flattens the cornea (myopia).
Are both eyes treated on the same day?
NearVision CK® is typically performed on just one eye. However, if a patient's prescription requires treatment in both eyes, CK is typically performed on both eyes on the same day - one eye immediately after the other. Most patients are comfortable having the CK procedure performed on both eyes on the same day because the procedure is minimally invasive, takes less than three minutes and is done in-office with only topical anesthesia.
Will I have to wear patches over my eyes after the NearVision CK® procedure?
You will not have to wear patches or bandages.
How soon can I return to work?
With NearVision CK®, the majority of patients are able to return to work and other normal activities the second day after their procedure. Although recovery is fairly quick, it is advisable to be careful with your eyes and to avoid any strain. Those whose jobs demand intense clarity of vision (such as dentistry, surgery or computer work) may want to give their eyes some extra rest for several days following the procedure before going back to work.
What will I feel during the NearVision CK® procedure?
The NearVision CK® procedure is considered painless. You will be aware of a support (speculum), which helps to hold your eye open. The most common sensation that patients experience is a feeling of pressure on the eye. After the procedure, there may be some mild discomfort, and many patients experience a foreign-object sensation or "scratchiness" in the eye. This usually subsides within 24 hours of the procedure.
Why doesn't NearVision CK® use a laser?
NearVision CK® is a non-laser procedure that uses controlled radio waves to improve near vision. Rather than removing tissue with a laser, NearVision CK® reshapes the cornea using an entirely different method: the application of low-level, radiofrequency (RF) energy applied in a circular pattern on the outer cornea, to shrink small areas of corneal tissue. This circular pattern acts like a belt tightening around the cornea to increase its overall curvature and temporarily improve near vision. The procedure, which takes less than three minutes, is done in-office with only topical anesthesia (eye drops).
Will the instrument used in the NearVision CK® procedure penetrate my cornea?
NearVision CK® is performed using a probe (Keratoplast™ Tip) that is as thin as a strand of human hair. The probe, introduced into the cornea, applies controlled radiofrequency (RF) energy, stabilizes the CK procedure and guarantees the precise depth of treatment.
How is a precise amount of radiofrequency (RF) energy and depth of treatment ensured during the NearVision CK® procedure?
The technology used during the procedure was engineered and designed specifically for performing NearVision CK®. This means that the precise amount of RF energy needed to affect the corneal tissue, at the precise tissue temperature and depth of treatment, were meticulously investigated and defined. The Keratoplast™ Tip penetrates the cornea to a depth of 450 µm and utilizes a plastic stop at the very distal portion to assure precise depth of penetration.
What are the risks and side effects of NearVision CK®?
Because NearVision CK® is minimally invasive, the procedure has exhibited very minimal risk and almost no side effects. During the first 24 to 48 hours after NearVision CK®, you may experience tearing and some discomfort, including a foreign-object sensation in the eyes. You may also experience initial slight over-correction of your vision, which stabilizes during the following weeks. However, because NearVision CK® doesn't cut or remove tissue, many of the side effects associated with other vision treatment procedures have not been observed with NearVision CK®.
Are there restrictions after having NearVision CK®?
As with any vision treatment procedure where the cornea is altered, certain precautions should be taken. After the NearVision CK® 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. Females should also avoid applying eye makeup for one week after the procedure.
Am I guaranteed 20/20 vision following NearVision CK®?
No. And no honest doctor can absolutely guarantee a certain result from any vision treatment procedure. However, in the FDA clinical study, nearly 87% of patients had 20/20 vision while looking at objects in the distance and were able to read phonebook-size print after having NearVision CK® (12-month follow-up data).
Is NearVision CK® reversible?
As with most vision improvement procedures, NearVision CK® is not reversible. Once the procedure has been performed, it is not possible to "remove" its effects. This is an important factor for anyone thinking about undergoing a vision procedure to carefully consider. To make sure NearVision CK® is right for you, seek the advice of your doctor.
Will my health insurance cover the cost of the NearVision CK® procedure?
Because NearVision CK® is considered elective surgery (cosmetic), most health insurance plans do not cover it. Financing options are available to make NearVision CK® more affordable. For more information about financing, ask your doctor.
Who is NearVision CK® right for?
You're likely a good candidate for NearVision CK® if you:
- Are over the age of 45
- Have great distance vision without glasses or contact lenses
- Are tired of your reading glasses
Can NearVision CK® treat myopia (nearsightedness)?
NearVision CK® was designed for baby boomers that struggle to read menus, price tags or see their computer - symptoms of fading near vision which require a steepening of the cornea. NearVision CK® is not designed to flatten the cornea, the effect required for the treatment of myopia.
Can NearVision CK® be performed on patients who have a pacemaker?
The NearVision CK® equipment can produce interference that may adversely influence the operation of other electronic equipment. Therefore, NearVision CK® is contraindicated for patients who are wearing a pacemaker.
What enables NearVision CK® to be performed in-office?
NearVision CK® is a minimally invasive procedure that does not require cutting of the cornea, and therefore does not carry the associated risks or surgical complications. The procedure is relatively quick and easy to perform - taking an average of just 3 minutes.
What type of anesthesia is used during the NearVision CK® procedure?
A local anesthetic in the form of eye drops is used to numb the eye. Those patients who are nervous or have a high level of anxiety will be given a mild sedative to help them relax.