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Limbal Relaxing Incisions

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 (LRIs) 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. LRIs are placed at the very edge of the cornea (in the limbus) on the steepest meridians. LRIs are often combined with other surgical and laser vision correction procedures and cataract surgery.

Alternatives to LRIs


LRIs are not the only surgical procedure designed to correct astigmatism.  If you are having cataract surgery, a special astigmatism implant (Acrysof Toric IOL) can be placed in your eye at the time of surgery to correct the astigmatism.  Laser vision correction utilizing either PRK (surface treatment) or LASIK (treatment using a flap) can also be utilized to correct astigmatism. 

Realistic expectations:

The decision to have LRIs is an important one that only you can make. The goal of any refractive surgical procedure is to reduce your dependence on corrective lenses. However, we cannot guarantee you will have the results you desire.  The doctors at Capital Eye Consultants will discuss with you the best method to decrease and neutralize your astigmatism.


Serious complications to LRIs are extremely rare. If you decide that LRIs are an option for you, you will be given additional information about the procedure that will allow you to make an informed decision about whether to proceed. Be sure you have all your questions answered to your satisfaction.


LRIs as a stand-alone procedure can be performed in Capital Eye’s procedure suite with their operating microscope.