This in-office procedure uses a LASER (argon or diode) and focusing lens to create burns in the retina to treat retinal tears or detachments. The retina reacts to the LASER burns by creating a strong adhesion to the underlying retinal pigment epithelium over 5–7 days. If there is a tear in the retina, LASER can be used to create a wall or barrier around the tear and prevent it from worsening into a retinal detachment. Certain retinal detachments can also be “walled off” using a laser, which has a high success rate.
This procedure has minimal risks or side effects; however, after treatment you may experience mild discomfort or soreness, but this can usually be resolved with over-the-counter pain remedies. If you have severe pain or visual loss, contact your retinal specialist immediately.