Astigmatic Keratotomy

Laser Procedure

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The excimer laser can be used to reduce astigmatism when performing LASIK or PRK surgery.  The degree of astigmatism currently approved for correction is 0.75 D to 4.0 D.  Astigmatism measurements describe to what degree the cornea is "non-spherical".  As an example, the surface of a basketball is spherical and would have no astigmatism.  The surface of a football, on the otherhand, would be highly non-spherical and would have high astigmatism.  The excimer laser reduces the degree of astigmatism by removing corneal tissue in an asymetric manner.  This is accomplished by utilizing an oval-shaped laser beam.


Incisional Procedure

Picture of Eye Incisions

Astigmatic Keratotomy (AK) is a surgical procedure used to decrease astigmatism. This procedure can be used in combination with radial keratotomy and excimer laser vision correction. During astigmatic keratotomy, a diamond blade set to a precise depth makes a circumferential incision in the cornea. The incision causes the cornea to assume a more spherical shape and decreases the degree of astigmatism.

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