Background: For more than 15 years, radial keratotomy has increased in popularity as an option for treating myopia in the United States. During this period of time, the procedure has been modified to improve results and decrease complications. Despite these changes, complications from radial keratotomy continue to occur. The authors report six cases of penetrating keratoplasty performed to correct significant loss of vision resulting from complications of radial keratotomy. Methods: The surgical records of one author (WR) were reviewed retrospectively for penetrating keratoplasties performed for complications of radial keratotomy. Results: Six cases of penetrating keratoplasty performed for complications of radial keratotomy were found. Severe loss of vision was the indication for surgery in each case, and was associated with aggressive and repeated incisional refractive attempts to correct astigmatism, hyperopic overcorrection, residual myopia, or refractive errors associated with keratoconus. Glare associated with subepithelial scarring and irregular astigmatism were the primary findings associated with loss of vision. Conclusions: Despite advances in technique and instrumentation, radial keratotomy is limited in the amount of myopia it can correct. The risk for loss of vision increases with increasing number of incisions, intersecting incisions, very small optical zones, and keratoconus.
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