AK is a procedure for reducing astigmatism by reshaping the cornea from an oval shape into a more spherical shape. It is an elective procedure since it is not always necessary and not urgent. When AK is successful, patients may not need to wear eyeglasses or contact lenses again. In cases in which corrective eyewear is needed, thinner lenses are typically effective.
People who have astigmatism have a misshaped cornea. Astigmatic keratotomy corrects astigmatism by making one or two incisions at the steepest part of the cornea. These incisions cause the cornea to relax and take a more rounded shape. It is often used in combination with other vision correction surgeries.