Laser retinal repair of small tears in the retina is up to 94 percent effective, according to research reported in the scientific journal Acta Medica Croatica. Laser retinal repair is at least as effective as other forms of retinal repair treatment such as cryopexy, according to an article published in the journal Opthamology.
The most common laser retinal repair procedure is laser retinal photocoagulation, according to Swedish Medical Center. This procedure involves using a laser to burn the perimeter of a retinal tear to prevent the tear from growing and prevent fluid from infiltrating behind the retina through the tear. It is especially important to prevent fluid from getting behind the retina because fluid behind the retina often leads to retinal detachment. Laser retinal repair can often be done as an outpatient procedure and does not require surgical incisions, unlike alternative procedures such as cryopexy.
Laser treatments are generally not used if a patient's retina has already detached, statesSwedish Medical Center. Retinal detachments usually require surgical intervention to reattach the retina to save a patient's vision. Most of these procedures involve using pressure to seal the retina against the back wall of the eye until it heals, often by using a band placed around the eye or a bubble of gas injected directly into the eye itself.