Astigmatic Keratotomy (AK)

Astigmatic Keratotomy is a procedure for reducing the degree of astigmatism by reshaping the cornea from an oval shape into a more spherical shape. Astigmatic Keratotomy (AK) may be viewed as a modified form of Radial Keratotomy (RK).It an operation in which the cornea is relaxed by a series of transverse incisions to flatten the meridian in which the incisions are made and increase the curvature in the meridian 90° away. It is safe and effective, but in recent years, it has been largely replaced by LASIK. Astigmatic Keratotomy is useful for numerous refractive problems, including congenital astigmatism, astigmatism with a cataract, posttraumatic astigmatism, and astigmatism after corneal transplantation. It is sometimes performed after LASIK or Photorefractive Keratectomy to improve the vision of people with astigmatism.

Astigmatic Keratotomy is best suited for the patients who have minimal or moderate degrees of astigmatism, and who doesn’t have prior major eye problems, and had stable eye prescription for at least a year, and who want better vision from astigmatism without the need of contacts or eyeglasses. Patients with more severe astigmatisms may still require glasses or contact lenses after astigmatic keratotomy (AK) eye surgery.

Astigmatic Keratotomy

Disadvantages of astigmatic keratotomy:

  • A slow healing process for about three months
  • Discomfort, usually mild and lasting for two to three days
  • Results, both good and bad, and are permanent

Astigmatic keratotomy (AK) eye surgery is done under a local anesthesia and the entire procedure lasts for a maximum of 10 minutes for both eyes and it involves making one or two incisions at the steepest part of the cornea. Here the Astigmatic keratotomy (AK) incisions are made in a straight line or in an arc-like form, depending on the data generated by the preoperative testing, evaluation process and the surgeon's judgment and then the incisions are made outside of the central zone, or visual axis, of the cornea.

Astigmatic keratotomy (AK) eye surgery is more useful to patients who underwent previous 4-, 6-, or 8-cut radial keratotomy (RK). The surgeon makes incisions in the cornea so as to change its curvature and the incisions are flattened the steep portion of the cornea, making the eye more spherical.


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