Phototherapeutic Keractomy

Photo-therapeutic Keratectomy (PTK) is procedure that uses the excimer laser to treat corneal surface diseases and scars.PTK allows the removal of the epithelium (or outer skin of the cornea) and then applying the laser to the surface of the cornea to correct surface irregularities.It is similar to photorefractive keratectomy which is used for the treatment of refractive conditions. The objective is to produce a smoother and clearer cornea, and not necessarily to reduce dependency upon eyeglasses or contact lenses. The common indications for PTK are corneal dystrophies, scars, opacities, bullous keratopathy. In contrast, the goal in PRK is to reduce dependency upon eyeglasses or contact lenses. PRK is often combined with PTK. This procedure is for those irrespective of age who have corneal surface diseases such as:

  • Recurrent epithelial erosion syndrome.
  • Shallow corneal scars.
  • Corneal dystrophies, such as lattice dystrophy or granular dystrophy.
phototherapeutic keractomy


A sedative would be given to help you relax after which you will be prepared for surgery. The area around your eyes will be cleaned and a sterile drape will be applied around your eye. Anesthetic eye drops help numb your eyes. An eyelid holder will be placed between your eyelids to prevent you from blinking during the procedure.

The epithelium, which is a thin layer of protective skin that covers the cornea will be removed to reshape the cornea which lies beneath. You would need to look directly at a target light while this happens. The laser unit is pre programmed based on the pre operative information available. This procedure takes approximately one to two minutes.

Once the procedure is complete the eye will be examined with a slit lamp microscope. Blurring or haziness will be experienced for one to five days after this procedure along with the discomfort during the healing of the epithelium. Eye drops, pain medication and possibly a protective contact lens can be used to minimize this discomfort. Most patients resume normal activities within one to three days. In certain cases it will take almost six months to have a stable vision.

Realistic Expectations:

The decision to have PTK is an important one that only you can make. The goal of any laser surgery is to improve your visual experience. However, we cannot guarantee you will have the results you desire. The vast majority of our patients are extremely happy with their vision after PTK. PTK is a safe, effective and permanent procedure, but like any surgical procedure, it does have some risks. After PTK, almost everyone experience some visual side effects. These visual side effects are usually mild and temporary and have a tendency to diminish over time. But there is a slight chance that some of these side effects won’t go away completely, including light sensitivity, glare and halos. Serious complications to PTK are extremely rare. Many patients will find that their eyeglasses or contact lens prescriptions will be different after the procedure.


Get an appointment with us and get the resolution ASAP