Laser Thermokeratoplasty

Laser Thermokeratoplasty or LTK is one more form of laser eye surgery. It is used to treat astigmatisms and farsightedness. The laser beam is used to shrink and reshape the cornea using laser beams. Astigmatisms, and farsightedness can be corrected in seconds with no incision and no removal of any tissue.

This technique is good but is only effective in the short-term. The surgery begins to regress following LTK eye surgery. The surgeon will often overcorrect the vision problem to allow for regression. Regression may not be found immediately, it could be as long as ten years. LTK is still classified as a temporary or nonpermanent.


Laser Thermokeratoplasty has certain advantages that are important to know. Because it is a laser therapy using only a small beam of heat, there is little or no risk of infection or any vision loss. The risk of infection is nonexistent because no instruments touch the eye, only the laser beam.

Another advantage of LTK surgery is that is done quickly. There is only a mild discomfort and most patients can resume their normal activities the next day.

There are some disadvantages of LTK surgery just as there is with any surgery. We already touched on the fact that it is not a permanent solution. Some vision problems occur after surgery because of the need to overcorrect the problem to compensate for regression.

Glasses may be needed for a few weeks after surgery. Patients who have LTK surgery may lose some of the benefits of the corrective surgery within three months. On rare occasions, a patient may lose the corrective effects ten years after surgery. LTK laser surgery is recommended for people over the age of 40 who are only mildly farsighted.

Side Effects

Side effects are slight but will still occur. You may feel a sensitivity to light, and you may feel as if you have a speck of dust in your eye. Normally these two side effects go away after a day or two and can be treated with prescription eye drops.

How do you know if you are qualified for LTK eye surgery? Because it is considered nonpermanent, patients under the age of 40 are not recommended to have this surgery. The other qualifications for LTK are the same as any refractive surgery.

If you are planning on having LTK eye surgery there are steps you should take to prepare yourself for this surgery. You will be asked to undergo tests to see how thick your cornea is, what amount of refraction you have, and how well your pupil dilates.

After these tests are completed, you will meet with the surgeon and set the date for the procedure. Write down any specific questions you may want to ask your surgeon. Surgery is done as an outpatient procedure but you will want to plan for transportation after your surgery is complete. Be sure to eat a light meal before you go in for the procedure and take all of your prescribed medicines so your doctor can be sure there will be no drug interactions.