LASIK Surgery

When considering LASIK surgery, it is important to be informed about the surgery, what to expect before and after and what risks may be involved. 

NearVision CK Eye Surgery

Are you over 40 and want to reduce your dependency on reading glasses? The solution is NearVision CK (Conductive Keratoplasty), the only technology approved by the FDA for presbyopic patients who want to improve their near vision.

The NearVision CK procedure is a vision correction treatment for people who are middle-aged and older with diminishing near vision due to the natural aging of the eye. It is also approved to treat mild to moderate hyperopia (farsightedness).

The CK Procedure

NearVision CK is a non-laser, incision-free refractive eye surgery that uses radio waves to reshape the cornea and bring near vision back into focus. The radio waves, which shrink small areas of collagen, are applied to the outer cornea in a circular pattern using a small, thin probe. The circular shrinkage pattern causes constriction like a tight round band, increasing the overall curvature of the cornea. This can significantly improve close-up eyesight in presbyopic patients.

The NearVision CK procedure is quick (average of three-minutes), minimally invasive (does involve any cutting or tissue removal), and relatively easy (performed in-office). All that is required for the procedure is topical anesthesia (eye drops) to numb the eye and a device known as a speculum to hold the eye open. A mild sedative may be given to patients who are nervous or have a high level of anxiety.

The procedure is considered painless, although patients will be aware of the speculum holding the eye in position and may feel slight pressure on the eye. After the procedure, there may be some mild discomfort or "scratchiness" in the eye, but this usually only lasts for 24 hours. The eye does not need to be covered or bandaged after the NearVision CK procedure.

NearVision CK may be performed on both eyes or just one eye, depending on patient preference and presciption. If both eyes are being treated, the procedure is typically performed on each eye on the same day, one right after the other.

Recovery

Recovery is fairly quick and most patients are able to return to work and other normal activities the day after the procedure. Certain precautions must be taken to protect the eyes while they heal, however, and patients will be advised to be careful and to avoid any strain. It generally takes about one week for eyes to heal and vision to improve.

Patients with jobs that demand an intense clarity of vision (such as surgery or computer work), may want to rest their eyes for several days before going back to work.

During recovery (about one week), the following restrictions may apply:

  • Protect the eyes from contaminated water (swimming pools, spas, lakes, ocean)
  • Avoid getting soap and dirty water in the eyes (such as when showering or taking baths)
  • Keep sweat out of the eyes (such as when exercising or working outdoors)
  • Avoid using eye makeup or other cosmetics near the treated eye
  • Do not rub the eye (for two weeks following the procedure)

Patient Criteria

All patients who are interested in vision correction for presbyopia should visit an eye doctor for a complete eye examination. Based on an exam of your eyes, your doctor can determine whether you are a good candidate for the NearVision CK procedure.

The NearVision CK procedure may be right for you if:

  • You are over age 40
  • You have had fairly good vision your whole life
  • You have not had drastic changes in your vision within the past year
  • You need reading glasses to compensate for diminishing near vision
  • You do not have eye conditions such as glaucoma, severe dryness, corneal dystrophy, herpes of the eye, or aggressive keloid formation
  • You do not have health conditions such as diabetes, vascular disease, or autoimmune disorder
  • You are not pregnant

The NearVision CK procedure is performed to improve close-up eyesight, not for those with myopia (nearsightedness). Myopia correction would require flattening the cornea, whereas NearVision CK is designed to steepen the curvature, the treatment approach for hyperopia (farsightedness) and presbyopia.

If you have had previous eye surgery such as LASIK, you may still be a candidate for NearVision CK. Many patients who have chosen NearVision CK to treat their near vision in one or both eyes have also had the LASIK procedure for distance vision correction in the past.

Risks, Complications, and Side Effects

The NearVision CK procedure has been shown to have minimal risk and almost no side effects. Because it does not involve cutting or removing tissue, it does not cause many of the side effects associated with other types of vision treatment procedures. Some people experience temporary side effects that may affect vision for a few days after the procedure. Risks are relatively rare, but still must be considered before proceeding with the treatment.

Side effects may include: discomfort, scratchiness, and/or sensation of having something in the eye; glare; halos; tearing; and slight overcorrection of vision. These side effects are usually temporary (during the first 24 to 48 hours), although it can take several weeks for the eyesight to stabilize.

As with most vision correction procedures, NearVision CK is not reversible. Once the procedure has been performed, the effects cannot be undone.

Cost of CK Eye Surgery

The cost of NearVision CK can vary from one provider to another and generally depends on many factors, including your individual prescription and geographical location. If you are interested in a typical price range for the CK procedure, however, you should expect to pay about $1,500 to $2,900 per eye for treatment in the United States.

Results

After NearVision CK, most patients notice an immediate improvement in their vision. It can take several weeks for the eyes to adjust and stabilize, however, and during this time the eyesight may fluctuate before it settles at the final level of treatment.

Doctors cannot guarantee results (if they do, find an honest doctor), but in the FDA clinical study, at the 12-month follow-up, nearly 87% of patients had 20/20 distance vision and were able to read phonebook size print (J3) after having NearVision CK.

Because your eyes continue to change as you age, the effects may not last long term. NearVision CK can temporarily reverse eyesight problems due to aging, but it cannot stop the aging process all together. Some patients may enjoy lasting vision correction, but at some point some patients (depending on age and type of refractive disorder) may need additional vision treatment (surgery, reading glasses, or bifocals).