Skip to content

Eye Health Center

Font Size

Laser Photocoagulation and Cryopexy for Retinal Tears - Topic Overview

Laser photocoagulation and cryopexy are used to fix tears in the retina and prevent a retinal detachment. These methods work well to treat certain retinal tears. But some people will need future treatment for a tear in another part of the retina.

You can usually receive these treatments in a doctor's office or an outpatient surgery center. They do not require a hospital stay or general anesthesia. You may need to limit your activity for a couple of weeks after treatment.

Recommended Related to Eye Health

Pterygium (Surfer’s Eye) and Pinguecula

Pterygium (pronounced tur-IJ-ee-um) is a common eye condition that affects people who spend a lot of time outdoors. Because it often affects surfers, it is also known as surfer's eye. It can affect anyone, though, even children who don’t wear sunglasses outside. People with pterygium have a growth of pink, fleshy tissue on the white of the eye. The growth usually forms on the side closest to the nose and grows toward the center of the eye. Pterygium is a noncancerous lesion that usually grows slowly...

Read the Pterygium (Surfer’s Eye) and Pinguecula article > >

In laser photocoagulation, an intense beam of light travels through the eye and makes tiny burns around the tear in the retina. Over several weeks the burns form scars that prevent fluid from getting under the retina.

Cryopexy achieves the same result by using a probe to freeze and seal the retina around the tear.

Both methods keep fluid in the middle of the eye from passing through the retinal tear. If fluid gets under the retina, the retina can detach from the wall of the eye.

If you need retinal detachment surgery and you have a torn retina, these same methods are used to seal the tear in the retina.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: September 09, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
    Next Article:

    Laser Photocoagulation and Cryopexy for Retinal Tears Topics

    Today on WebMD

    Woman holding tissue to reddened eye
    Learn about causes, symptoms, and treatments.
    Simple annoyance or the sign of a problem?
    red eyes
    Symptoms, triggers, and treatments.
    blue eye with contact lens
    Tips for wearing and caring.
    Understanding Stye
    human eye
    eye exam timing
    vision test
    is vision correction surgery for you
    high tech contacts
    eye drop