Encyclopedia of Ophthalmology

Living Edition
| Editors: Ursula Schmidt-Erfurth, Thomas Kohnen

Radial Keratotomy

Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-35951-4_364-3



Corneal incision performed to flatten the cornea and reduce myopia.


Radial keratotomy was the most commonly performed refractive procedure in the late 1970s and 1980s.


Sato first described this procedure in 1939.

Clinical Features

No clinical feature data available for this topic.


Preoperative evaluation includes slit lamp examination, pachymetry and topography of the cornea, as well as BCVA refraction.

Differential Diagnosis

Corneal relaxation procedures for correction of myopia:
  • Astigmatic keratotomy

  • Arcuate keratotomy

  • Transverse keratotomy

  • Trapezoidal keratotomy

  • Hexagonal keratotomy

  • Limbal relaxing incisions


Due to unstable results, radial keratotomy has been replaced by the far more accurate excimer laser.


There are two methods for radial keratotomy. In the “American-style incision,” the incisions are performed from the optical zone toward the limbus. The Russian centripetal technique...

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Further Reading

  1. Albert DM, Miller JW, Azar DT (2008) Albert & Jakobiec’s principles & practice of ophthalmology. Saunders, PhiladelphiaGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of OphthalmologyGoethe-University Frankfurt am MainFrankfurt am MainGermany