Open mobile navigation

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.

View Video

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 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
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.

Since the femtosecond laser has only been introduced to the United States in the last few years, not all surgeons offer this option for astigmatic incisions. We believe the quality and expertise of a vision correction surgery should be a more important factor than whether he or she uses a laser for this procedure in your choice of a surgeon.

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.

To find a vision correction expert surgeon who has qualified to be listed at Trusted LASIK surgeons in another area, please visit:

Find a Trusted LASIK Eye Surgeon

The screening process and standards used by Trusted LASIK Surgeons™ can be found at:

How Are Lasik Eye Surgeons Qualified at TLS

If you are a LASIK or Cataract Surgeon and interested in being a member of the Trusted LASIK Surgeons, sign up below and we will contact you.

Featured Articles

Read up on informative topics

  • New Year, New Vision in 2020

    Tired of squinting when you read? Add an eye exam to your list of New Year's resolutions. ...

    Read More
  • How To Read Your Eyeglass Prescription

    Have you ever wondered what your eyeglass prescription says about your vision? ...

    Read More
  • Are Floaters A Sign Of Something Bigger?

    Worried about floaters? Find out when this common vision symptom can be a sign of a serious problem. ...

    Read More
  • Frequently Asked Questions

    Why do I need to see an eye care provider? Many “silent” diseases, such as glaucoma and diabetes, can only be detected through regular eye exams. When these conditions are discovered earlier rather than later, they become easier to treat or manage, allowing for better long-term preservation of eyesight. ...

    Read More
  • Pediatric Ophthlamology

    Ophthalmology addresses the physiology, anatomy and diseases of the eyes. Pediatric ophthalmology focuses on the eyes of children. Pediatric ophthalmologists examine children’s eyes to see if they need corrective lenses or other treatments to improve their vision. Training for Pediatric Ophthalmologists Pediatric ...

    Read More
  • Allergies

    Caused by the same irritants as hay fever, runny nose, coughing, and sneezing, eye allergies commonly affect those who suffer from other allergy symptoms. Not only do eye allergies cause discomfort, but they can also interfere with daily activities. Eye Allergy Causes Medically referred to as allergic ...

    Read More
  • Learning-Related Vision Problems

    Learning disabilities may include dyslexia, math disorder, writing disorder, auditory processing deficits, or visual processing deficits. Although each child with a learning disability is unique, many also have associated visual problems. Addressing these vision disorders may alleviate some symptoms ...

    Read More
  • UV Radiation and Your Eyes

    Optometry warnings about the damaging effects of ultraviolet radiation on our eyes have not yet reached the degree of public awareness of that of skin damage. Yet, the sun can be just as damaging upon our eyes with unprotected exposure. Short-term exposure to very bright sunlight can result in a type ...

    Read More
  • How To Protect Your Eyes While Wearing Halloween-Themed Contact Lenses

    Spooky novelty contact lenses can make your Halloween costume even scarier, but are they safe? ...

    Read More
  • Fuchs' Corneal Dystrophy

    Fuchs' dystrophy (pronounced fooks DIS-truh-fee) is an eye disease characterized by degenerative changes to the cornea’s innermost layer of cells. The cause for Fuchs' dystrophy is not fully understood. If your mother or father has the disease, then there is roughly a 50 percent chance that you will ...

    Read More

Newsletter Signup

Sign up for more articles