Laser photocoagulation

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]


Laser photocoagulation surgery is used to treat a number of eye diseases and has become widely used in recent decades. During the procedure, which is usually performed on an outpatient basis, a laser is used to finely cauterize ocular blood vessels to attempt to bring about various therapeutic benefits.

The surgery is used in the treatment of diabetic retinopathy and age related macular degeneration, having been proven to lower the risk of severe vision loss from these diseases, which are the two leading causes of blindness in the United States. Other eye diseases it is used to treat include retinal ischemia, neovascularization of the choroid or retina, glaucoma, and a complication of cataract surgery known as posterior capsular opacification.

Side effects and complications of laser photocoagulation are not infrequent although they are rarely severe. They include loss of peripheral vision, worsening visual acuity, reduced night vision, and hemorrhaging in the eye.

References

  • Lawrence, Peter F; Bell, Richard M; Dayton, Merril T (2006). Essentials of Surgical Specialties. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.



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