Phototherapeutic Keratectomy (PTK)
Phototherapeutic keratectomy (PTK) is an advanced laser procedure used to treat corneal abnormalities by removing tissue from the cornea. Before the development of PTK, cornea treatment involved manually scraping away abnormal roughness with a surgical blade or replacing the entire cornea in a transplant procedure. PTK offers patients a safer, less invasive alternative that helps achieve the results they need.
The PTK procedure is similar to photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) and may be performed together. PTK improves the overall health and shape of the cornea.
Candidates for Phototherapeutic Keratectomy
PTK is ideal for patients with corneal conditions such as:
- Corneal scar tissue removal
- Smoothing an irregular corneal surface
- Corneal degeneration
- Corneal dystrophies
- Epithelial erosion syndrome
- Corneal scars
Benefits of the Phototherapeutic Keratectomy Procedure:
- Minimal trauma
- Ability to remove corneal tissue with precision
- Faster recovery of vision
- Reduction of post operative scarring
- Quicker recovery time
The Phototherapeutic Keratectomy Procedure
During the PTK procedure, the eye is numbed with anesthetic drops to reduce any potential discomfort. The eye is held open with a special device to prevent blinking during the procedure. The doctor will remove the epithelium, the protective covering of the cornea, from the eye, while using a laser to reshape the cornea to the eyes unique specifications, which have been pre-determined prior to the procedure. The laser procedure takes less than a minute to perform. The epithelium will heal naturally to cover the treated area.
Recovery from Phototherapeutic Keratectomy
After the PTK procedure, patients may experience blurry or hazy vision for a few days, as well as mild discomfort as the epithelium heals. You may be prescribed eye drops or pain medication to reduce these symptoms. A protective contact lens may also be used to minimize discomfort. Vision may fluctuate for up to six months while the eye heals.
Risks of Phototherapeutic Keratectomy
While PTK is considered safe for most patients, there is a risk of certain complications associated with any surgical procedure. Some of these risks may include:
- Poor wound healing