If you have a retinal detachment, cryotherapy and pneumatic retinopexy could resolve the problem without you needing to undergo a surgical procedure in the hospital. The highly experienced ophthalmologists at Connecticut Retina Consultants have considerable expertise in using cryotherapy, providing these and other sight-saving procedures at their offices in New Haven, Hamden, Madison, Trumbull, and Fairfield, Connecticut. Call Connecticut Retina Consultants today to find out more or book an appointment.
Cryotherapy is a procedure in which your ophthalmologist at Connecticut Retina Consultants applies a small probe to the sclera, which is the white part of your eye. Condensed gases like nitrous oxide or carbon dioxide cool the tip of the probe down to around -70°F, which freezes the retina.
Cryotherapy is most often used together with pneumatic retinopexy to treat patients who have a retinal detachment. It’s also useful for retinal tears that your ophthalmologist can’t treat using laser technology.
Cryotherapy can also be an effective procedure for more uncommon diseases such as Coats disease and vasoproliferative tumors, helping to reduce any leaking fluids from damaged blood vessels.
Your ophthalmologist carries out cryotherapy under a local anesthetic, so you won’t feel any pain. You need to wear an eye patch afterward and use eye drops to minimize the risk of infection and inflammation.
A retinal detachment affects the retina, which is a thin layer lining the eyeball at the back of your eye. The retina is light sensitive, converting information about what you see into signals that the optic nerve sends to your brain.
If any part of the retina separates from the eye, that’s a retinal detachment. Nerve cells in the separated tissue can’t get nourishment, and without treatment, they deteriorate and die. Repairing retinal detachment is essential to prevent permanent sight loss.
The most common form of the condition is a rhegmatogenous retinal detachment. This type of detachment occurs when vitreous fluid leaks through a tear in the retina and raises it off the wall of your eye.
Symptoms of a retinal detachment are floaters and flashes, followed by the appearance of a dark shadow in your peripheral vision.
Retinal detachment typically requires surgical repair, and cryotherapy is a critical element of the repair process. Surgery aims to remove the fluid so the retina can lie against the wall of the eye again.
The first stage of the process is pneumatic retinopexy, which involves injecting a long-acting gas that blocks the passage of fluid through the tear. Over a period of 1-4 weeks, the gas slowly helps form an airlock that sticks the retina back to the wall of the eye.
The cryotherapy treatment repairs the tear in the retina that allowed fluid to leak through. This method of treating a retinal detachment is one your ophthalmologist at Connecticut Retina Consultants can perform in the office, saving a trip to the hospital and more invasive surgery.
Find out more about the advanced treatment options available by calling Connecticut Retina Consultants today.