Radial keratomy was the standard method for correcting nearsightedness before the advent of laser surgery. The procedure sometimes resulted in postoperative complications, including farsightedness from overcorrection. Laser technologies -- such as photorefractive keratectomy and lasik (laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis) -- were used to correct the radial keratomy errors but were fraught with complications.As presented in November at the American Academy of Ophthalmology’s annual meeting in New Orleans, Dr. Navaneet S.C. Borisuth and his colleagues from Virdi Eye Clinic and Laser Vision Center in Rock Island, Ill., analyzed the effectiveness of advanced surface ablation with the anti-scarring medication mitomycin C as a technique to improve vision in patients who had received radial keratomy.The researchers tested 22 eyes from 13 patients with postradial keratomy refractive errors. Lasek (laser epithelial keratomileusis) was performed on 16 eyes and Epi-lasik (lasek without the alcohol) on the other six eyes. After treatment, they applied mitomycin C to the eye for 12 s. Patients were assessed for up to six months, and 95.5 percent (21 out of 22 eyes) showed significant improvement in unaided visual acuity. Best corrected visual acuity (with help from glasses or contact lenses) improved or remained the same in 90 percent of the patients. The researchers believe that the results indicate that using mitomycin C may provide a safe way of treating refractive errors in patients who have undergone radial keratomy.