Astigmatic keratotomy, or AK, is a procedure for reducing astigmatism by reshaping the cornea from an oval shape into a more spherical shape. It is an elective procedure, since it is not always necessary and not urgent. When AK is successful, patients may not need to wear eyeglasses or contact lenses again. In cases where corrective eyewear is still needed, thinner lenses are typically effective.
Preparing for an Astigmatic Keratotomy
In general, people who are preparing for an astigmatic keratotomy are asked to:
Astigmatic Keratotomy Process
Astigmatic keratotomy allows people with astigmatism to have better vision. It is sometimes performed after LASIK or Photorefractive Keratectomy to improve vision for people with astigmatism. Your eyes are measured during pre-operative testing in order to determine where the incisions should be made. During the actual procedure, your eyes are numbed with anesthetic drops and marks are made on the cornea to indicate where the incisions should be made. The procedure changes the curvature of the cornea, making it more spherical. Typically, this procedure takes twenty minutes or less to perform. Antibiotic drops are applied to prevent infection, and sometimes medicine is prescribed for side effects like scratchiness or foreign-body sensation. Normal activities can usually be resumed within two days, and vision improvement tends to become noticeable within two weeks. If vision improvement is not noticeable, patients should not assume that the procedure was unsuccessful, as recovery may take longer in some cases. It is always best to ask your eye doctor what results to expect.
Advantages of Astigmatic KeratotomyAdvantages of this surgery include:
Talking to Your Eye Doctor
Here are some questions to ask your eye care professional about astigmatic keratotomy:
- MDConsult Yanoff & Duker: Ophthalmology, 3rd. ed. Radial Keratotomy http://www.mdconsult.com/books/page.do?sid=1154367648&eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-323-04332-8..00017-2--s0140&isbn=978-0-323-04332-8&uniqId=2404577