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Conductive Keratoplasty Can Correct Age-Related Farsightedness

Conductive keratoplasty (CK) is a non-laser refractive eye surgery that our doctors use to treat presbyopia, a form of age-related farsightedness. Using a thin probe that emits low-level radio waves, conductive keratoplasty tightens the tissue and increases the curvature of the cornea. Dr. Paul S. Gulbas and Dr. Mark J. Gallardo can discuss the conductive keratoplasty procedure during a consultation at their El Paso, TX office.  If you’ve started to hold menus and newspapers at an arm’s length just to be able to read, you may want to consider conductive keratoplasty. Contact our office to schedule your consultation.

About Conductive Keratoplasty (CK)

As you age, the lens in your eye loses elasticity, resulting in an inability to focus on near objects and print. CK treats presbyopia by correcting the farsightedness that results from the eyeball not being long enough to focus light properly on the inside back surface of the eye, or when the cornea is not steep enough to focus light correctly for clear vision.  As with other refractive surgeries, CK corrects and changes the way light enters the eye. However, unlike LASIK or PRK, CK does not require an incision, and no tissue is removed.

Illustration of how the eye's lens hardens over time and causes presbyopia

What to Expect During and After CK Procedure

Our doctors perform the CK procedure in our office. Prior to your procedure, you will have an initial consultation with Dr. Gulbas or Dr. Gallardo. At this time, an instrument called a corneal topographer will create a detailed map of the curvature of your cornea, which will then be used during your procedure. During your procedure, we will apply anesthetic eye drops for comfort. Your surgeon will use a rinse-away dye to imprint the map of the treatment pattern (created during your consultation) onto your eye. He will then use a hand-held probe to deliver the low-level radio waves to specific depths of your cornea at the mapped-out spots. The entire procedure takes just a few minutes to complete and is painless. You will receive a prescription for eye drops to prevent infection and reduce inflammation. You may leave immediately following the procedure, but someone will need to drive you home.

Benefits and Risks of CK

CK can reduce or eliminate your need for reading glasses. The procedure takes just a few minutes and provides almost immediate vision improvement,. It is also very safe and non-invasive, since there is no cutting or tissue removal. Although rare, side effects and complications can include:

  • Visual problems such as hazy or double vision or seeing halos or starbursts around lights at night
  • Sensitivity to light
  • A difference in the ability to focus between one eye and the other, or anisometropia
  • Dry eye
  • Eye irritation following the procedure
  • Allergic reaction to eye drops

These side effects can be temporary. Your doctor will take steps to eliminate or reduce them, and also give you instructions which you should follow carefully to help ensure the best results. 


Candidates for CK should be at least 18 years of age, but the typical age is 40 or older. CK is a good option for people who have trouble seeing objects and print less than two feet away. The best candidates are at least 45 years of age and have good distance vision without the use of contacts or glasses. Candidates must also be free of eye disease, have had a stable vision prescription for at least a year, and have vision in the correctable range for CK. Nearsighted patients who develop farsightedness may be better candidates for LASIK.

Contact Us

If you would like to be able to see clearly up close without needing reading glasses, you may be a candidate for CK. Contact us today to schedule your consultation with Dr. Gulbas or Dr. Gallardo.

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