This is a therapeutic application of the excimer laser in the management of anterior corneal diseases and is a new technique of keratectomy for removing the scar tissue from the cornea.
The excimer laser may provide a novel modality in the treatment of a number of superficial corneal disorders. This treatment is known as phototherapeutic keratectomy. The indications include a variety of corneal degenerations and dystrophies, corneal irregularities and superficial scars.
While some of these conditions could be treated by mechanical superficial keratectomy techniques, PTK may minimise tissue removal and surgical trauma.
The smoother stromal surface achieved by the excimer laser procedure may improve surface smoothness of the cornea, improve post-operative corneal clarity and decrease post-operative scarring, and facilitate subsequent epithelial adhesion.
Moreover superficial corneal disorders, which in some cases would otherwise require corneal transplant, may be amenable to treatment with the PTK procedure. Thus PTK has a dual approach in pain management and improving the visual acuity.
Unlike the excimer laser PRK or LASIK technique for correction of refractive errors, PTK treatments will vary with different corneal disorders, and the clinical goals of the procedure may, vary depending upon the patient's symptoms.