The treatment known as Laser Thermokeratoplasty, or LTK for short, is a form of laser correction used to treat hyperopia and astigmatism. The patient's cornea is shrunk rather than reshaped so no cutting or removal of tissue takes place.
LTK is a quicker, less invasive alternative to similar laser eye correction, but it is not a permanent procedure. Commonly, patients will lose half of the corrective effects of the treatment within two years.
The LTK operation will begin, as most laser procedures do, with the surgeon placing anaesthetic drops in your eyes. Your chin is then placed on a padded chin rest to hold you head in place. The surgeon will then use an advanced laser to effectively shrink the cornea, thereby increasing the steepness of its curvature. The Laser Thermokeratoplasty should take no longer than thirty minutes, and most patients can return home shortly after the treatment is completed.
Risks and side effects
All forms of eye correction surgery carry some degree of risk, and Laser Thermokeratoplasty is no different. The main risks are infection, under or over correction, vision abnormalities, and unforeseen regression. However, cases where serious side effects or complications have arisen are rare. Compared to conventional surgery, laser procedures are generally much safer.
Cost and prices
Typical prices of LTK are slightly lower than similar laser treatments with average costs in the range of £700 per eye. Prices vary significantly from clinic to clinic, and some nationwide eye specialists are now offering treatment for as little as £500 per eye.
NHS, private or abroad
Laser Thermokeratoplasty or LTK is unlikely to be available on the NHS as it mainly treats long sightedness. This condition doesn't pose a threat to your health, therefore it's not viewed as essential medical treatment by the NHS. However, you can have the procedure in a number of private eye clinics both in the UK and abroad.
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