Phototherapeutic Keratectomy (PTK) is an advanced laser procedure used to treat corneal abnormalities such as scar tissue or an irregular surface that causes blurry vision or discomfort within the eye. This procedure is often performed with vision correction surgeries such as photorefractive keratectomy (PRK), but is considered a medical procedure that improves the overall health and shape of the cornea.
PTK is ideal for patients with corneal conditions such as:
Before the development of PTK, cornea treatment involved manually scraping away abnormal roughness with a surgical blade or replacing the entire cornea through a transplant procedure. PTK offers patients a safer, less invasive alternative that helps them achieve the results they desire.
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. Dr Kumar will then remove the epithelium, the protective covering of the cornea, from the eye, while a laser reshapes the cornea to your unique specifications, which have been determined prior to treatment. The laser treatment takes less than a minute to perform. The epithelium will heal naturally to cover the treated area.
After the PTK procedure, patients may experience blurry or hazy vision for a few days, as well as mild discomfort as the epithelium heals. Dr Kumar may prescribe eye drops or pain medication to reduce these symptoms. A protective contact lens may also be used to minimize discomfort. While vision may fluctuate for up to six months, most patients are highly satisfied with the results of this procedure.
Although 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, farsightedness or astigmatism.