Arcuate keratotomy

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What is it?

Corneas with astigmatism are characterised due to having a more curved meridian than the other. In order to correct this refractive defect, the surgeon makes some incisions to flatten the cornea in the more curved meridian, giving it an arched shape (hence the surgical procedure’s name: arcuate keratotomy).

In which cases is it carried out?

  • Patients with very high astigmatism
  • Patients with astigmatism for which a corneal transplantation has previously been carried out

Previous examinations

  • A full ophthalmological check-up is recommended to ensure the patient is a suitable candidate for this kind of surgical operation
  • Pre-operative specific tests: topography and pachymetry

During the surgical operation

The surgical operation is carried out by applying topical anaesthesia and sedation


Due to being a surgical procedure that is recommended to correct very high astigmatism, after the procedure, the patient may still have a few dioptres of astigmatism left that can later be treated with lasik surgery.


  • All surgical operations imply risks. In order to reduce these risks, it is recommended that these kinds of surgical procedures are carried out by ophthalmologists specialised in refractive surgery and the cornea.
  • After the surgical operation, some patients feel as though there is a foreign body in their eye but most of them can lead a normal life right from the first day.

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