What is a Laser?

A laser is a strong beam of light.

There are many different types of lasers and they are made when an electric current is passed through a gas or crystal. The specific substance determines the laser’s color and its use.

An ophthalmologist uses different types of lasers to perform a variety of laser surgical procedures.

How is a Laser used in Surgery?

Two different kinds of lasers are used in eye surgery. Your retina specialist will primarily use the thermal laser.

laser surgery, retinopxyWith a thermal laser, when the laser reaches the back of the eye, it becomes heat energy which can be used to:

Decrease the growth of new blood vessels or leakage of blood vessels.

Destroy abnormal tissue, such as a tumor.

Repair a torn retina or partially detached retina.

With a photodisruptive laser, the light is used like a knife to cut or sculpt eye tissue, such as LASIK eye surgery.

Laser retinopexy is often performed in conjunction with surgical treatments for retinal detachment, such as vitrectomy or pneumatic retinopexy.

Eye Problems often Treated with Laser Surgery

Retina specialists primarily treat diabetes and retinal tears or detachments with laser.

Retinal tears or detachment. A tear in the retina can lead to a retina detachment and result in loss of vision. If diagnosed early, a retinal tear or detachment can be repaired with laser in the clinic. The thermal laser produces heat that can seal the retina to the back wall of the eye again.

Diabetic retinopathy. Diabetes damages blood vessels and can cause them to leak fluid into the retina (macular edema). Diabetes can also cause new blood vessels to grow that can bleed and cause scar tissue to grow and detach the retina. Thermal laser can aid in decreasing the leakage from blood vessels and also decrease the growth of new blood vessels.

A Laser is an intense Beam of Light

Laser surgery for retina conditions includes retinal tears, retinal detachments, diabetic macular edema, and proliferative diabetic retinopathy.

Thermal laser is commonly used by retina specialists for treatment in the clinic. Laser surgery is very effective for these conditions. Like any surgery, however, there are risks of side effects and complications. Your ophthalmologist can talk with you about those.