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Phototherapeutic Keratectomy (PTK) is a laser treatment used to treat a variety of corneal (front surface of the eye) pathologies.



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:

  • Remove or decrease opacities (blurring/misting/scarring) affecting the visual acuity
  • Smooth the corneal surface
  • Improve the adherence of the corneal epithelium
  • Help alleviate painful symptoms


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:

  • Recurrent corneal erosions
  • Superficial corneal scars and opacity (from trauma and inactive infections)
  • Dystrophies (Reis-Buckler’s, granular and lattice)
  • Salzmann’s nodular degeneration
  • Band keratopathy
  • Painful bullous keratopathy


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:

  • Deep stromal lesions, dense band keratopathy
  • Significant corneal thinning
  • Neurotrophic cornea
  • Lagophthalmos
  • Severe keratoconjunctivitis sicca
  • Severe blepharitis
  • Corneal infection


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:

  • Anaesthetic drops are then applied to numb the eyes. You will be awake and comfortable throughout the procedure
  • The consultant will then apply an eye lid guard which is used to prevent blinking
  • The excimer laseris focussed at a particular depth and lasts for only a few seconds
  • A protective soft contact lens is placed in each eye for 4 days
  • Your specialist nurse will go through ANY precautions and medications that are needed to aid recovery
  • Your aftercare will begin 4 days after the procedure


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.

  • Fast: 1 sec per dioptre with typical treatment lasting between 3 to 5 seconds, which allows for a reduction in thermal effects on the cornea leading to quicker recovery time
  • Precise with optimised accuracy
  • A 500Hz ‘flying spot’ laser enables the creation of complex and customised treatments for short-sightedness, long-sightedness, astigmatism and presbyopia

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.

  • Iris recognition technology ensures accurate placement of your personalised laser treatment
  • Tracks all eye movements – 6 dimensions (XYZ, intraoperative rotations and static rotations using iris recognition technology)
  • Takes pictures of the eye (sampling rate) 1,750 times per second (1750Hz)
  • Has a response time of 2ms – so no laser pulses are ever misplaced
  • The eye tracker can follow the most sudden or subtle of eye movements

Price Guide

  • Consultation: £200* (non-refundable)
  • Phototherapeutic keratectomy – £1995 per eye (deposit of £250 per eye which is deducted from the final cost)

*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.

Why choose AVC?

First Class Treatments

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.

First Class Surgeons

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.

First Class Service

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.


Please scroll within the section faqs

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.

Recommended by Leading Insurance Providers

"Having worn glasses and contact lenses for many years, my new lenses have given me such freedom and I feel very privileged to have had the opportunity to have this procedure."

Anne Brown

"I now have 20/20 sight (from approx. -8.00) and am extremely happy.
A big thank you to everyone at Advanced Vision Care."

Phil Scott

"My vision has improved by the day. I have so much more confidence in myself and it’s all thanks to the surgery and people behind it. I could not be more happier."

Marium Hussain

"I couldn’t have picked a better clinic to take care of me and my eyes, and would like to thank everyone of you for making this happen. I have been recommending AVC even before the surgery and will continue to do so."

Sinduja Chandrapalan

"I didn’t think at 70 that I’d be able to see, thread a needle and doing all the things… without putting my glasses on. Best thing that I’ve ever done! I would definitely recommend AVC to anyone interested in vision correction of any kind."

Barbara Rouvray

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