Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Limbal Relaxing Incisions (LRI's)

The outer layer of the eye can be divided into three areas: the cornea, the sclera and the limbus. The cornea is the clear part, or the window, that covers the iris and the pupil. The sclera is the white part of the eye. The limbus is the thin area that connects the cornea and the sclera. Limbal relaxing incisions treat low to moderate degrees of astigmatism. As the name suggests, the surgeon makes small relaxing incisions in the limbus, which allows the cornea to become more rounded when it heals.
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The Procedure
First, anesthetic eye drops will be used to numb your eye. When your eyes are completely numb, an eyelid holder will be placed between your eyelids to keep you from blinking during the procedure.
 
Next, marks will be made on the limbus. These impressions are temporary and used for marking where the surgeon will make the incisions. The marks are based upon a formula taking into account your prescription, age and the amount of correction needed.
 
Finally, tiny arc shaped incisions will be made in your limbus which will cause the cornea to relax after it heals. Antibiotic drops will be applied and the eyelid holder will be removed.

The actual surgery takes about 5 minutes.
When is it needed?
Limbal relaxing incisions treat low to moderate degrees of astigmatism. You should consider this procedure if you want to reduce or eliminate your dependency on glasses or contacts and have no other serious eye conditions other than cataracts.
 
Limbal relaxing incisions have gained widespread acceptance amongst cataract surgeons where it is often combined with custom cataract surgery to reduce pre-existing astigmatism. The incisions can be done as part of cataract surgery or at any time after.
Post-Op Care
Following your procedure, you will be given additional eye drops, and your eye may be shielded for protection. Your vision will probably be a little blurry at first, so someone will need to drive you home. You should relax for the rest of the day. You may experience some discomfort, but this is usually alleviated with an over-the-counter pain reliever. Some people experience sensitivity to light, and watering or swelling of their eyes for a few days following the procedure.
 
Everyone heals differently, but most patients resume normal activities the next day. The majority of our patients see a dramatic improvement in their vision within the first 48 hours. For others, vision may be blurry for a few days but should stabilize within a week.
Benefits
One of the greatest benefits of limbal relaxing incisions is their ability to optimize the function of all intraocular lenses, especially advanced multifocal and accommodating lenses, to achieve a wider range of vision correction.
 
Limbal relaxing incisions are safe, and can be performed in only a few minutes during cataract surgery or as a separate procedure. LRI's can greatly reduce or even eliminate your dependency on eyeglasses and contacts.
 
Compared to more expensive LASIK and PRK surgery, astigmatism correction with limbal relaxing incisions is an economical and effective alternative.
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