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Astigmatic Keratotomy (AK)

Underlying Problem Requiring Astigmatic Keratotomy:

Astigmatic Keratotomy (AK) vision correction is an outpatient surgery that is used to reduce or eradicate astigmatism. Astigmatism is basically an irregular shaped cornea, where there is a slope on the cornea that causes vision problems. AK can help to reduce the degree of the astigmatism, or in minor cases, completely eliminate it. People usually resort to AK only after they have tried LASIK eye surgery and it hasn\'t cured the problem. It would be a good idea to have the Astigmatic Keratotomy when:
  • You don\'t have a major astigmatism
  • You have been wearing prescription eye protection for at least one year
  • You have not had any major eye problems in the past
  • You have a desire to use less protective eye wear (i.e. glasses, contact lenses, etc.)
Treatment:

AK is the simple placement of incredibly small incisions in order to round out the cornea. AK is a relatively easy procedure for people who want to be less dependent on protective eyewear and have a minor astigmatism. The procedure is easy and painless. First, the patient\'s cornea is measured and tested to be fitted for a special marker that shows where the cuts are to be made. The patient is then numbed using eye drops which means, no needles or injections at all. Then, an eye lid holder would be used to keep the patient from blinking. At this point the special marker is placed on your cornea and the microscopic incisions are made. The surgery itself takes approximately 5 minutes, but with the preparatory procedures for making the markers, it will take about an hour.

Recovery from Astigmatic Keratotomy:

There are a few side effects that should go away over time, although some have been known to become permanent.These include light sensitivity, glare and halos, but there are few complications that are actually serious. There is a 2-3 day period of general discomfort, but the entire healing process requires around three months. The results of the procedure are irreversible in all cases.

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