Astigmatic Keratotomy (AK) is used to help people with astigmatism. Astigmatism is an uneven curvature of the cornea. It is curved more in one direction than the other, causing a distortion in vision. During AK, one or more surgical incisions are made in the cornea. These incisions help eliminate the uneven curvature and "round out" the cornea. A rounder cornea means objects no longer appear blurred or distorted. AK is sometimes performed at the time of cataract surgery, in order to reduce or eliminate the patient's preexisting astigmatism.
A Limbal Relaxing Incision (LRI) is similar to AK. Limbal Relaxing Incisions are incisions placed in the limbus (edge of the cornea). These incisions relax the limbus to create a more rounded cornea and reduce astigmatism. LRI's may also be performed at the time of cataract surgery.