Astigmatic Keratotomy (AK)
Astigmatic Keratotomy is a refractive procedure that removes or reduces astigmatism through a series of small incisions created in a curved pattern. This causes the steep axis of the cornea to flatten changing the focusing power. Most often, this procedure can be performed in our surgery room within our clinic with the patient awake and in their street clothes. First, the patient will receive anesthetizing drops to the eye(s). The surgeon will then make a temporary mark in a spore-like pattern upon the cornea. Using a microscope and a diamond-tipped instrument, a pair of incisions will be made on the cornea to the specific length and depth required to achieve the proper optical correction.
What Can I Expect After the Procedure is Completed?
For the first 24 hours following the procedure, you may experience some mild light sensitivity and irritation. There may be some pain, which is usually alleviated by over-the-counter medication. We suggest that you schedule no activities for the remainder of the day and evening. You will be given drops to use for one week.
How Do You Decide if this is the Best Choice of the Refractive Procedures for Me?
Before any refractive procedure is scheduled for you, a complete pre-operative examination will be performed. Thorough testing will be done during this dilated exam. At the completion, the doctor will be able to discuss your refractive options and help guide you as to which would best suit both your visual and lifestyle needs.
Are there any Risks Associated with this Procedure?
There are risks involved in every surgery. These will be discussed in detail with your doctor during the examination, but they can include infection, undercorrection and over correction. We do take every precaution to avoid as may risks as possible for our patients.
Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK) is a laser vision correction procedure used by ophthalmologists to permanently change the shape of the cornea to improve the way it focuses light on the retina. Instead of creating an incisional flap in the cornea, as is done with the LASIK procedure, a very small amount of surface corneal cells are removed. With the laser, gentle pulses of concentrated, cool, ultraviolet light beams are then applied to modify the shape of the cornea. A contact lens is placed on the surface for the first few days and visual acuity is steadily gained over the first month.
In recent years, a modified version of PRK procedure was developed and is now referred to as Epi-LASEK. It involves a gentle loosening of the most superficial layer of the cornea and the reshaping of the cornea with the excimer laser. The difference is that with Epi-LASEK, the loosened tissue is slid back in place on the cornea and a contact lens is placed on the surface to both protect the eye and provide patient comfort. Epi-LASEK allows the patient the benefit of a shortened healing process over the PRK procedure.
Knowing that Healing Time is Extended with PRK, Why Would I Choose it over LASIK or Epi-LASEK?
PRK is not the most frequently requested procedure. While the procedure has its merits, the delayed healing process causes many potential patients to choose one of the alternative methods. There are, however, some instances when it is the only procedure for consideration due to a particular job requirement. This occurs in some isolated circumstances with certain branches of law enforcement professions.