Phototherapeutic Keratectomy (PTK) is a laser treatment used to treat a variety of corneal (front surface of the eye) pathologies. It is very similar to the more well-known vision correction surgery known as PRK, however it is not used for vision correction instead it is used for therapeutic reasons to treat long-term corneal conditions.
The main goals of performing PTK treatment are to:
Treatment stops recurrent corneal problems such as pain, haze and improves visual quality. Sometimes there might be a prescription change which can be dealt with other laser treatments. This also avoids long term use of lubricants and contact lens wear.
PTK has been performed successfully for over 10 years since the advent of the excimer laser and its use in therapeutic treatments. Research into Laser eye surgery has shown that this can be an effective way to treat recurrent corneal erosion syndrome with the success rate being reported as high as 90%.
To be potentially suitable you must have one of the following diagnosed medical issues:
At AVC we are passionate about getting the best outcomes for our patients however we do not provide any experimental treatments and do not operate on those who suffer from conditions that prevent safe and ethical treatment.
Common reasons why patients are found unsuitable for PTK laser treatment include:
PTK surgery does not directly correct the vision but is used to treat the painful symptoms from anterior corneal injuries, scars and removes surface level corneal disease such as corneal dystrophy and epithelial erosion syndrome, which can affect the quality of vision.
The first layer of the cornea (epithelium) is removed using an alcohol solution, and the excimer laser is applied to the eye to remove a minute layer.
In theory, this provides a sounder base layer for healing of the erosion and also allows the corneal epithelium cells to heal all in one “sheet” – this allows for more uniform healing to occur. Following the surgery, a bandage contact lens is put in place to allow healing and reduce pain. There is also a regimen of antibiotic, steroid and pain reducing eye drops that must be followed, as well as the use of moisturizing eye drops.
When arriving at the clinic on the day of surgery our friendly and experienced clinical team will guide you through every step of the way. Prior to the procedure you given a mild oral sedative to help you relax.
The PTK procedure is as follows:
At Advanced Vision Care we only use the most advanced laser eye surgery technology and the Bausch & Lomb Technolas TENEO 317 (released in 2017) is the fastest treating and newest excimer laser available and provides some of the best outcomes. It provides optical sculpting by precisely evaporating tissue from the collagen layer of the cornea.
During the consultation a scan and map the entire iris of each eye is performed. Like finger prints, no two irises are the same and a unique digital identification is generated for each eye. It is this map that forms the foundation from which the multi-dimensional eye tracker operates.
Throughout the procedure the Advanced Control Eye-tracking (ACE) system is used, this is a 6-dimensional eye tracker which will guide the laser during the treatment by tracking and mirroring the movement of the eye, and if there is too much movement the laser will shut off.
Before treatment can begin the ACE system has to first recognise the unique ID for the eye being treated. This ensures the treatment profiles are always associated with the correct patient and the correct eye of the patient.
*Fee includes comprehensive testing with the latest technology and the opportunity to meet with the AVC Medical Director and Lead Surgeon, Dr CT Pillai either at initial consultation or at a later date. We ensure everybody benefits from his expertise, has a definitive answer about suitability and is given a bespoke treatment plan.
To make vision correction treatment more affordable, we provide flexible interest free finance plans. Using our flexible finance options, you can spread the cost of your surgery with interest free monthly repayments, meaning you don’t pay more than the actual cost of your surgery.
At AVC, we value flexibility and give our patients the option to pay a larger deposit to reduce the cost of the monthly repayments. We have partnered with Hitachi Finance to provide finance plans that are not only interest free but can be paid off early without being penalised.
Gold standard in laser treatment, using only the safest and most advanced technology to provide outstanding results, constantly surpassing expectations. AVC has the fastest treating excimer laser available on the market, treatment typically taking only 3 to 5 seconds. First and only clinic in Europe to have a transparent theatre, used for purposes of training and allowing families to watch treatment.
Truly bespoke treatment plans individually designed for each eye of every patient. Dr Pillai was one of the first surgeons in the UK to perform bilateral (both eyes treated on the same day) Lasik treatment. AVC’s Medical Director and laser surgeon is a refractive and corneal specialist with over 25 years of experience as an ophthalmic surgeon.
If a patient is found unsuitable for laser treatment, alternative treatments can be offered to correct the prescription. AVC have the largest independent optometrist network in the country, meaning patients can have treatment at the Harley Street clinic and enjoy incredible aftercare at a more convenient location. Transparent pricing – you pay the same price regardless of how complex your prescription is.
Before the procedure, the surgeon will apply anaesthetic drops to numb your eye so no pain is felt. However, the eye lid guard that prevents blinking throughout the procedure can cause some discomfort.
Yes, we treat both eyes on the same day because of the speed of the treatment.
Following PTK treatment the majority of patients are back to work within a week. However, this can vary depending on your occupation; working in a dusty environment may mean that more time off is needed. The amount of time off work needed will be suggested at your consultation.
Photo-Therapeutic Keratectomy is a laser procedure that is very similar to the more well-known vision correction surgery known as PRK. Preparation, the procedure itself, and post-op are identical in both types of surgery. The main difference is that in Photo-Therapeutic Keratectomy, no vision correction is done. The main purpose is to treat surface level corneal disease and not to remove the need to wear glasses or contact lenses.
PTK differs from LASIK in two main ways. Firstly, LASIK is performed to reduce spectacle and contact lens dependence, therefore making it a vision correction procedure. Secondly, in LASIK, a flap in the cornea is created. In PTK, no flap is created, making it appropriate for those with thin corneas or dry eye. Also, in PTK no vision correction reshaping of the cornea is done.
It is not clear to say whether your private medical insurance will cover PTK, as it is entirely dependent on your policy. You should check over your policy in detail and if you are still unsure, contact your insurance company.
It is a safe and permanent procedure but like any form of surgery it does have a small amount of risk. These risks include glare, halos, starbursts and light sensitivity.
These are usually mild and tend to disappear over a period of time, although they can be permanent in a tiny number of cases. The surgeon will discuss these with you during the consultation as well as assessing your suitability for PTK.