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I had a retinal tear at the corner of the eye which was

repaired by cryotherapy. I was...
I had a retinal tear at the corner of the eye which was repaired by cryotherapy. I was told that cryotherapy creates a stronger scar than laser. Why would not more ophthalmologist use cryotherapy instead of laser? Is it because cryotherapy requires some specialized skill and many newer ophthalmologist rather use laser treatment if they can? Is it likely that cryotherapy would create a bigger scar than laser and thus potentially reduce more vision? Also are there any lasers that are better suited for this procedures than others - -and if yes which kind? I am asking this question so I can be better prepared for this procedure next time and know what to ask. I am not looking for an answer which simply states that it is an ophthalmologist preference which procedure to use.
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Answered in 20 minutes by:
9/24/2017
Richard Han
Richard Han, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 333
Experience: Physican with over 15 years experience
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Hello my name is***** am a board-certified physician and I am happy to help you. Both procedures are effective at essentially tacking down the retina so that vitreous of the fluid filling part of your eye does not leak thru the tear and cause retinal detachment. Recently there has been a trend away from cryotherapy because of slightly higher complication rates. That being said, many skilled ophthalmologists will still use cryotherapy over laser because of two main factors. 1. Location: tears that are near the front of the eye are very difficult to reach effective with a laser. 2. Cataracts- if you have significant cataracts, it is difficult to utilize a laser to perform the procedure. Hello my name is***** am a board-certified physician and I am happy to help you. As with anything else in medicine and surgery, individual physician preference, skill level and experience can also play a factor.Do you have any other questions I can help you with today?
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Customer reply replied 2 months ago
As I mentioned in my question my tear is in the corner of the eye and no cataracts. Would you please respond to the specific questions that I have asked.
MD Doc
MD Doc, Dr
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 8,179
Experience: MD since 1994
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Hi,

Whether to use laser or cryo depends on the size and placement of retinal tear.

A large retinal tear which is placed more anteriorly is sealed by cryo. While smaller retinal tears or holes which are placed more posteriorly are sealed using a laser.

The area where the retinal tear occurs, loses its life or strength, so vision from that area is almost zero. But since, these retinal tears and holes are in the peripheral part of the retina, the field of vision and vision loss by them is not significant. Majority of our vision is in the central part of the retina (called macula). Any problem in macula causes a major vision loss.

Since your retinal tear was in the periphery, the vision loss in the tear area is not very significant. Also, whether to use laser or cryo is determined by the surgeon based on the size and location of the tear.

Hope this information is helpful

Regards

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Customer reply replied 2 months ago
are you aware of any study that compares the long term outcomes of cryo vs laser for retinal tear?thnaks

The indication of use of cryopexy (cryo) and laser are totally different. So, there would not be studies to compare both of them in the exact same scenario with half patients undergoing cryo ad half laser when retinal tear is found. Below is a link to a study which compares them both in case of retinal detachment after retinal tear

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21149772

A few more links for your clarity

https://www.retinalphysician.com/issues/2008/october-2008/laser-treatment-of-retinal-breaks

https://www.reviewofoptometry.com/ce/know-your-retinal-breaks-tears-and-holes

Regards

MD Doc
MD Doc, Dr
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 8,179
Experience: MD since 1994
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