Astigmatic Incisions

Astigmatic Incisions are a refractive surgery procedure that can improve your vision for problems due to:

If you have astigmatism, objects will be blurry and could be doubled both far and/or near depending on whether you have nearsighted or farsighted astigmatism. To learn more about this vision problem, please visit our discussion on Astigmatism.

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Types of Astigmatic Incisions

The most common types of astigmatic incisions are:

  • Limbal Relaxing Incisions
  • Arcuate Incisions

Who is a Candidate?

Arcuate Incisions and Limbal Relaxing Incisions can help improve astigmatism (blurry vision) associated with nearsightedness, farsightedness or presbyopia (reading problems).

Limbal Relaxing Incisions may be most helpful for people with significant astigmatism who have been corrected for Monovision. While Limbal Relaxing and Arcuate Incisions can help reduce astigmatism, this surgery will have little to no effect in correcting any nearsightedness, farsightedness or reading problems (Presbyopia).

Both Arcuate Incisions and Limbal Relaxing Incisions to reduce astigmatism may be performed in conjunction with any lens implant (IOL) procedure including an IOL implanted in connection with cataract eye surgery.

How Are Astigmatic Incisions Performed?

Astigmatic Incisions are made directly on the cornea of your eye with a special diamond scalpel or by using a femtosecond laser (like the one used in Laser Cataract Surgery). The length and position of these incisions on the cornea will be determined by the amount of astigmatism you have for your eye.

If your surgeon uses a femtosecond laser to make the incision, the surgeon will typically utilize instruments in the laser to measure the thickness of your cornea. Preliminary studies show that these incisions are more precise and effective than diamond blade incisions performed manually.

If your surgeon uses a diamond to make the incision, the surgeon will use an instrument to measure the thickness of your cornea and then use a micrometer to set the blade depth in order to properly and accurately make the incisions.

For Limbal Relaxing Incisions, the incisions are placed in the more curved portion of the Cornea in order to reduce the curvature and in that way reduce the Astigmatism.

For Arcuate Incisions, the incisions are made in the more central clear portion of the cornea.

Cataract Surgery

Both Arcuate Incisions and Limbal Relaxing Incisions may also be performed in connection with cataract surgery to help correct astigmatism.

Limbal Relaxing Incisions and Arcuate Incisions are typically not covered by medical or other health insurance, so patients selecting one of these vision correction procedures will have to pay an additional charge to the refractive surgeon.

How Should I Choose a Surgeon to Perform either Limbal Relaxing or Arcuate Incisions?

Limbal Relaxing Incisions and Arcuate Relaxing Incisions are two refractive surgery procedures that are not performed by all LASIK surgeons.

Therefore, you may want to find a refractive eye surgeon with proven experience who can properly diagnose your astigmatism and any other vision problems, recommend the best course of treatment, and perform the appropriate procedure.  

How to Find a Highly Qualified and Experienced Surgeon for Limbal Relaxing and Arcuate

Our Trusted LASIK Surgeons Directory features highly qualified LASIK and refractive eye surgery experts who have proven experience, are active in the field of refractive surgery, and have been professionally recognized for their research, accomplishments, and contributions to advancing vision correction care.

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