Astigmatic Keratotomy (AK) is a procedure that is effective in the treatment of astigmatism. The surgeon makes incisions in the cornea to change its curvature. The incisions flatten the steep portion of the cornea, making the eye more spherical. AK can be used as an enhancement following LASIK or PRK, cataract, or lens implant surgery. Most astigmatism, though, is still corrected with the excimer laser.
The cornea is the first part of the eye which focuses light. Pre-operative measurements of the corneal astigmatism provides very precise data which determines the precise location of the incisions. After your eyes are numbed with anesthetic drops, markers are placed on the cornea where the incisions should be made. The specific incisions are then made to change the curvature of the cornea, causing it to be more spherical in shape. Antibiotic drops are applied to prevent infection. Normal activities can usually be resumed in two days and vision improvement varies with different people but usually range between a day to two weeks. If vision improvement is not noticeable, it is not a sign that surgery has not worked but may take longer for specific cases and its best to ask your eye doctor on results.
People are best suited for Astigmatic Keratotomy who have minimal or moderate degrees of astigmatism, who have not have prior major eye problems, have had stable eye prescription for at least a year, and who want better vision from astigmatism without the need for contacts or eyeglasses. With the high levels of success in correcting astigmatism with LASIK Eye Surgery, Astigmatic Keratotomy has declined significantly in use among refractive surgeons.