Retinal Laser Photocoagulation
Retinal laser photocoagulation is a type of eye surgery in which a laser is used to break down abnormal blood vessels formed through neovascularization. It is also sometimes used to create scar tissue and help stabilize a torn or detached retina. It is performed in-office and is typically used in the treatment of diabetic retinopathy, vascular occlusive diseases of the retina, and retinal tears.
Retinal cryotherapy is a non-invasive treatment option for retinal tears and detachments that involves using freezing temperatures to form scar tissue. The scar tissue helps to seal the retina to the back wall of the eye.
Retinal cryotherapy is performed by placing a cold metal probe against the white of the eye, also known as the sclera. While the probe is being applied to the sclera, the retina specialist uses an ophthalmoscope to look inside of the eye and find the exact location of the tear. Once they have identified the tear’s location, the doctor will trigger the probe to deliver freezing gas to the area, which will rapidly freeze the tissue. The frozen tissue is then quickly thawed, which helps to form the scar tissue.
Photodynamic therapy is a laser therapy that can be used to treat neovascularization in patients with wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Patients are first injected with a medication called Visudyne, which is sensitive to light. Once the medication travels to the retinal vasculature, it’s activated using a low-energy laser, which seals fragile, leaky blood vessels without causing damage to the retina.
Pneumatic retinopexy is an in-office procedure that is sometimes used in the treatment and repair of retinal detachment. It involves injecting a gas bubble into the eye so that it will push the detached retina back into place along the back wall of the eye. Once ready, the area is sealed using a freezing device.