The corneal incision procedures of Refractive surgery
Radial keratotomy (RK) uses spoke-shaped incisions (usually made with a diamond knife) to alter the shape of the cornea and reduce myopia or astigmatism; this technique has now been largely replaced by the other methods (that use excimer laser).
Arcuate keratotomy (AK) is similar to radial keratotomy, but the incisions on the cornea are done at the periphery of the cornea. Arcuate keratotomy is used to correct astigmatism. Although most incisional procedures are replaced nowadays by Lasik, AK is still used in some special cases (correction of residual astigmatism after a keratoplasty procedure or during cataract surgery).
Thermal keratoplasty is used to correct hyperopia by putting a ring of 8 or 16 small burns surrounding the pupil, and steepen the cornea with a ring of collagen constriction. It can also be used to treat selected types of astigmatism.
Laser thermal keratoplasty (LTK) is a no-touch thermal keratoplasty performed with a Holmium laser, while conductive keratoplasty (CK) is thermal keratoplasty performed with a high-frequency electric probe. Thermal keratoplasty can also be used to improve presbyopia or reading vision after age 40.
Intra-Stromal corneal rings (Intacs) are approved by FDA for treatment of low degrees of myopia.
Lens implantation inside the eye can also be used to change refractive errors.
The Council for Refractive Surgery Quality Assurance, an independent, nonprofit, patient/consumer health organization that provides information about refractive surgery and certifies LASIK surgeons, considers surgeons with results of 90% of patients achieving 20/40 or better and 50% achieving 20/20 or better with limited complication rates as meeting national norms.
Many people with myopia are able to read comfortably without eyeglasses. Myopes considering refractive surgery are advised that this may be an advantage after the age of 40 when the eyes become presbyopic and lose their ability to accommodate or change focus.