Nowadays, retinal diseases such as diabetic retinopathy, retinal detachment or macular degeneration can be treated with laser microsurgery. Laser light can be used to destroy anomalous tissue and to mould the cornea as well as to cauterise haemorrhaging arteries and heal the retina. Risk of infection and procedure duration are then reduced, making it an outpatient treatment.
Laser microsurgery to treat preliminary phase diabetic retinopathy consists of laser light application on the injured blood vessels. These are sealed, avoiding leaking blood vessels and advancement of the injuries. This procedure is known as photocoagulation and it stops any leaking of blood vessel fluids to the vitreous humour and contributes to curbing loss of vision.
Advanced diabetic retinopathy can be treated via a vitrectomy or vitreous humour surgery. Vitrectomy is a surgery that removes the vitreous humour affected by haemorrhaging from the eye and later replaced by a clear solution.
Wet macular degeneration (neovascular) can be corrected with photodynamic therapy. A photosensitive substance is injected into the injured bloodstream. Immediately following, the substance is activated by a laser light which destroys abnormal blood vessels. It is a non-invasive technique that does not damage the healthy retina and requires no anaesthesia.