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Corneal Relaxing Incisions Dallas

Limbal Relaxing IncisionsHave you been diagnosed with astigmatism?
Has your distance vision always been blurry without glasses?
Are you looking for a cost-effective way to reduce your astigmatism?

Most patients are born with a cornea with a spherical shape like a basketball.  In 35% of patients, the cornea has an oval shape like a football.  This is called Astigmatism and it distorts vision.

Astigmatism is the abnormal curvature of the cornea, which causes impaired vision, poor focusing of light, and other eye problems. Along with IOLs, one of the primary surgical procedures that can treat this problem is Limbal Relaxing Incisions (LRI).

Limbal Relaxing incision is our most cost-effective refractive surgery.  The procedure involves making tiny incisions in the peripheral cornea to relax the cornea and reduce astigmatism.  The procedure is most often performed at the time of cataract surgery and is best when combined with laser cataract surgery.

What is an LRI (Limbal Relaxing Incision)?

An LRI procedure involves making an incision on the limbus where the curvature is at it’s steepest. This relaxes the cornea and improves the patient’s vision. These operations are usually done in conjunction with a lens replacement surgery or a cataract surgery, though in some cases they can be an alternative to lens replacement in cases where cataracts aren’t a factor.

The pros of an LRI procedure is that they are minimally invasive, take very little time to recover from, and are best for low to moderate amounts of astigmatism. Often, the operation can take as little as 30 minutes to complete, with another 30 minutes for in-office recovery time. Usually, patients are back to work and other daily activities the day after surgery. There are also few complications or side effects that occur due to limbal relaxing incisions; swelling, tearing, and light sensitivity being very minor aftereffects in some cases. However, there are some cons as well.

One of the major drawbacks is that they don’t really help with moderate to heavy amounts of astigmatism. Likewise, even in patients with low amounts of astigmatism, the operation may not yield very much benefit, thus requiring more surgery. Another issue is that certain preexisting conditions such as autoimmune diseases or prior surgery on the cornea can also make you ineligible for this surgery due to the risks it can cause to your overall health or to further impairing your vision. While it is rare that there is any adverse outcome from an LRI surgery, it’s always best to discuss your medical history with your ophthalmologist before beginning treatment.

Which one is better for you as a patient: Toric IOLs or LRI?

While it will ultimately come down to particular and personal factors for you, there are some things to keep in mind. Limbal relaxing incisions are cheaper overall compared to Toric IOLs and can be done for patients who need to take a budget into consideration. However, the major factors for you will be the shape of your cornea, your age, and (as discussed above) any previous surgery. Toric IOLs are usually recommended for symmetrical corneas, whereas asymmetrical corneas should have an LRI performed. Likewise, LRI operations aren’t as useful for patients under age 50.

Overall, the limbal relaxing incision operation poses few risks for a patient but also can be ineffective depending on the unique factors for any given astigmatism sufferer. To know for sure if you are eligible, or can even be benefited by an LRI procedure, you should contact any of the highly trained staff at LaserCare Eye Center today to schedule an appointment. Getting an exam and finding out just what needs you and your eyes have the first step to getting you the help you deserve.

What are the limitations of LRI?

No man-made lens implant is perfect for every patient or in every situation.  From our experience, the following are the top 2 limitations of LRI (Limbal Relaxing Incision):

  1. Low astigmatism only:  This procedure can only reduce low amounts of astigmatism reliably.  Patients with more than mild astigmatism should consider other options including TORIC lens implant or LASIK-Cataract surgery***.
  2. Residual astigmatism: LRI does not completely treat astigmatism. Its goal is only to reduce astigmatism. It is expected that some patients will have residual astigmatism after cataract surgery.  In most cases, this is not visually significant.  If it is visually significant, it can be reduced further with additional LRI, PRK or LASIK.  To keep our prices competitive, LRI is the only refractive procedure that is not covered by our aftercare plan.

***LASIK-Cataract surgery is not an FDA approved procedure.

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