In order to correct nearsightedness radial keratotomy was often used. It is a type of refractive surgical procedure that was created during the early 1970s by a Russian ophthalmologist named Svyatoslav Fyodorov. However, newer surgical options have been created and RK has more or less been replaced. Newer options are Lasik, photorefractive keratectomy, phakic intraocular lens and even EpiLasik.

It was during the 1930s that refractive surgery was first started by Tsutomu Sato, a Japanese ophthalmologist by creating incisions in the cornea. Sato began to conduct early experiments based on this theory and played with both posterior keratotomy and anterior keratotomy. It was these experiments that would persevere throughout time, however none of the experiments would ever accomplish any acknowledged and reliable versions of results.

Move forward in time and the working creation of RK was caused by an accident. It was when Svyatoslav Fyodorov who was an ophthalmologist from Russia had removed shards of glass from the eye of a young boy after having a bicycle accident in 1974. The glasses that the boy had been wearing had shattered upon impact and this caused glass particles to lodge within his eye.

In order to try and save the vision of this young boy, Fyodorov had carried out a type of procedure where had made a various amount of radial incisions into the eye of the boy and extended them to create a radial type of pattern from the pupil of the eye all the way to the periphery of the cornea. This was rather ironic as the particular pattern that was used was similar to that of the spokes on the bicycle wheel of the boy.

Once all of the shards of glass were finally removed and after some time had passed to allow this particular eye injury to heal, the boy returned for a follow up and Fyodorov had noticed that the vision of this boy had been significantly improved.

The one thing that was noticed that was that the visual acuteness was far superior to that before the eye surgery. It was this accident that radial keratotomy was discovered and was developed. While being able to have this procedure was able to help and it was seen to be viable and popular during the early 1980s, the main restriction was that the success of having this particular eye surgery was all based on how much knowledge and experience the surgeon had. This procedure may have found greater success if it was not for the technically superior alternative that was being developed and slowly used which was Laser eye surgery.

Careful post-surgical treatment was a requirement in order to ensure that the eyes and patient would heal properly. Despite all of this, there were some who were more than ready to throw away old reading or daily glasses and even contact lenses. However, many patients were able to have a very good outcome when it comes to vision correction. There was not a doubt in the world that the radial keratotomy procedure was good, but it just did not have the same benefit of those performed by laser and by those who opted to have laser surgical procedures, both in the long run and even in short term. Many would often ask just what would happen down the road.

There are some who may have had RK and have not any type of issue throughout their lives after the procedure. However, there are some that may develop issues such as vision loss or halos. One thing that made this procedure less used was the fact that after you had the procedure, you could not under go any type of laser eye surgery once it was readily available.

Many who were not all too happy with the results of RK may have considered it, but due to the fact that both corneas top layers were incised, laser eye surgeries would not be possible. Importantly, anyone who had underwent this procedure and was needing cataract surgery would have to seek out various surgeons. This is not to say that they could not have a successful cataract surgery, but instead the patient would have to keep certain things in mind when they are thinking about any type of eye correction. Not to mention that anyone who has had an RK procedure or laser eye surgery and are moving into their 40s and 50s will most often need to use reading glasses due to farsightedness. Yet, there are still many who happened to have this type of vision correction and even though the effects of vision correction happened to be much more advanced by more modern terms of today, during the time when RK was developed, it had been considered to be an effective procedure.

Unfortunately, larger epithelial plugs may end up causing the scattering of light, which will often cause the appearance of visual phenomena like star bursts or flares, especially if that person is driving at night, where the lights from headlights will always been seen. It is these conditions at night that may cause the person to have pupil dilatation, which maximizes the amount of scattered light that will enter into the eye. There may be some cases where these large epithelial plugs will cause really aggravating symptoms and the person who has had the procedure will often seek the treatment of these using other surgical options. Increasing altitude can actually cause partial sightlessness in those who have had radial keratotomy. This was discovered by Beck Weather during 1996 after he had undergone surgery with RK after the Mount Everest disaster. The incisions that are made are used to relax the steep central cornea in those who haver nearsightedness. The original technique that was used which is made up of incisions that were from periphery to center had been called the Russian technique for years while the advances of being able to perform controlled incisions from the nerve center to the periphery was then called the American Technique. This procedure was a very popular option during the 1980s and it was also one of the most studied refractive surgical procedures.

There was a study that contained data that was published as being PRK which was able to prove the oncoming of continuous tense hyperopia which may be found after 10 years after the original surgery and it may continue to happen towards the central cornea.