Laser Surgery of the Eye

Laser surgery in ophthalmology can successfully treat many types of eye disease.

How does a laser work?

There are two different ways that lasers are used to treat eye conditions.

Thermal lasers--The light is converted to heat when it reaches the eye. The heat is used to:

  • Seal blood vessels (veins and arteries) that are bleeding or leaking fluid
  • Destroy abnormal tissue, such as a tumor
  • Bond the retina to the back of the eye

Photodisruptive lasers--The light cuts or sculpts tissues, similar to a knife. The beam of light is used to:

  • Cut thin membranes inside the eye that are blocking vision
  • Change the shape of the surface of the eye

What are the advantages of using ophthalmic lasers?

  • There is no risk of infection from the laser light, as might happen with operative surgery
  • Laser surgery can be performed in an outpatient setting, without having to stay in the hospital overnight
  • The surgeon has great precision and control

Which diseases can be treated with the laser?

  • Retinal tears or holes
  • Diabetic retinopathy
  • Macular degeneration
  • Glaucoma
  • After cataract surgery
  • Refractive surgery