Though Limbal Relaxing Incisions (LRI) were used widely to correct pre-existing corneal astigmatism during cataract surgery, they have been replaced recently with the more expensive methods like the use of toric Intra Ocular Lenses (IOL) and femtosecond during cataract surgery. We conducted our study to re-evaluate the role of (LRI) in correcting pre-existing moderate corneal astigmatism during cataract surgery in settings where other options are neither available nor affordable.
Retrospective analysis of all consecutive cases of LRI performed by a single surgeon at the time of cataract surgery to correct moderate corneal astigmatism (1.5-3D) in a community hospital over a period of 6 months. Corneal astigmatism, uncorrected distance visual acuity (UDVA) and best corrected distance visual acuity (CDVA) were recorded pre-operatively, 4 weeks and 3 months post-operatively. Data on age, intraocular lens (IOL) power, predictive refraction and post-operative spherical equivalent was also collected and analyzed. The number and position of LRI was determined based on the pre-existing corneal astigmatism using online calculator.
29 eyes of 25 patients with the mean age of 73.6 years (range: 46 to 90 years) and corneal astigmatism between 1.5 to 3D were included. Statistically significant reduction in the mean corneal astigmatism was recorded from 2.05 ± 0.45D preoperatively to 0.85 ± 0.56D postoperatively (P < 0.0001). All eyes showed reduction in astigmatism; 83% of eyes had < 1.0D post-operatively and 66% of eyes had < 0.75D. UDVA of 6/9 or better was recorded in 80% of eyes post-operatively (CDVA of 6/9 or better in 100%). The spherical equivalent was within 1.0D of the predictive refraction postoperatively in nearly all eyes (97%) and within 0.5D in 86% of the eyes. There were no peri-operative or post-operative complications were recorded in any case.
Combining LRI and cataract surgery to address moderate degrees of corneal astigmatism is a safe, reliable and predictable option especially in areas where more expensive methods such as toric IOL or excimer laser are not available or affordable. LRI has no significant effect on the spherical equivalent and is an excellent tool in reducing patient’s spectacle dependence.

© 2022. The Author(s).