Before deciding to undergo an elective surgical procedure, patients should receive information regarding the possible benefits, risks, and alternatives to surgery. This is particularly true with keratorefractive surgery, in which an eye that has a visual acuity of 20/20 with spectacles or contact lenses is put under the knife (or laser, as the case may be). Individuals considering refractive surgery will often ask a question such as, "I know there are risks, but I can't go blind, can I?" The answer, of course, is, "Yes, there is a small risk of blindness."
It is clear that blinding complications may ensue after radial keratotomy (RK). One of these potentially blinding complications, globe rupture, is detailed by Vinger and associates1 in this issue of the Archives. They reviewed the published literature and searched for additional cases of globe rupture. That incisions in the cornea or elsewhere in the eye predispose to
McDonnell PJ. Sight-Threatening Complications After Radial Keratotomy. Arch Ophthalmol. 1996;114(2):211–212. doi:10.1001/archopht.1996.01100130205018
Customize your JAMA Network experience by selecting one or more topics from the list below.