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Phototherapeutic keratectomy

 Phototherapeutic keratectomy (PTK) can treat corneal irregularities.

Phototherapeutic keratectomy (PTK) uses a laser to treat irregularities in the surface of your cornea. The cornea describes the clear, outer layer of your eye that enables you to see and protects your eye from injury and infection.

Irregularities that can affect your cornea include scarring and eye disease. These are also known as corneal dystrophies.

An eye examination with a specialist can confirm if you do have any irregularities in your cornea. Your eye specialist or Consultant will be able to advise on the best treatment option for you. This could include topical medication, ocular lubricants (artificial tears or eye ointments), or the placement of a bandage contact lens.

If these treatment options do not help improve the irregularity in your cornea, phototherapeutic keratectomy (PTK) can be considered. Phototherapeutic keratectomy (PTK) helps produce a smooth, even corneal surface, significantly improving your vision.

Photo-therapeutic keratectomy can be used to treat irregularities in your cornea (the outer layer of your eye). These irregularities can occur due to:

Superficial scarring in your cornea

Although minor abrasions (scratches) to your cornea often heal on their own, more deeper scratches and injuries can lead to vision problems and scarring. Phototherapeutic keratectomy can remove superficial scar tissue in your cornea and help improve your vision.

Corneal dystrophies

Corneal dystrophies (eye diseases that affect your cornea) are often hereditary. An example of corneal dystrophy is keratoconus, a condition that causes part of your cornea to become cone shaped. It can lead to symptoms such as itchy eyes, blurred vision and sensitivity to light.

Keratoconus can also cause other eye problems, including short-sightedness, which happens when objects appear blurry from a distance.

Band keratopathy

Band keratopathy is a degenerative condition of the cornea. It causes dust-like calcium deposits to develop in the layers of your cornea, resulting in blurred vision.

An eye specialist such as an Ophthalmologist can investigate and diagnose the cause of your vision problems.

They will use different imaging techniques to diagnose your condition and plan your treatment accordingly. An ocular coherence tomography (OCT) scan is a non-invasive imaging technique that scans the back of your eye. OCT scans provide high-resolution images of your cornea before and after treatment, helping diagnose several types of eye conditions.

If photo-therapeutic keratectomy is advised, a Consultant Ophthalmologist will perform your treatment. Prior to the procedure, they will typically administer local anaesthetic eye drops into your eye to numb it and its surrounding area.

The epithelium (the outermost layer of your cornea) is firstly debrided. This describes the process carried out to remove dead or contaminated tissue and expose healthy corneal tissue. This is performed with a specialist instrument or laser.

Your Consultant will then use a laser to extract thin layers of tissue from your cornea, leaving behind a smooth surface where new, healthy tissue can form.

Following phototherapeutic keratectomy, you will receive a bandage contact lens or eye patch to support your healing.

After the irregularity in your cornea has healed and the bandage contact lens has been removed (if applicable), topical corticosteroids (steroids) should be applied to your eye as advised by your Consultant. 

You will also be prescribed topical lubricants such as eye drops, which should also be applied.

Your Consultant will discuss your recovery timeline in detail with you to ensure you can manage your recovery effectively. They will show you how to apply any topical steroids or lubricants, so that you know how to do this appropriately at home.

There are many benefits of having treatment for corneal problems with us, including:

A member of our team can discuss the cost of your treatment with us.

Your payment will include the cost of treatment and any after-care appointments. Our flexible payment options mean that you can spread the cost of your treatment across 12 to 60 months (around 5 years).

If you decide to pay over a 12-month period, your treatment cost will not include any interest. You can learn more about our flexible payment options here.

Don’t suffer in silence with vision problems. 

Speak with one of our eye specialists about phototherapeutic keratectomy today by booking an appointment online or calling a member of our dedicated team on 0141 300 5009.