Cryotherapy, also referred to or known as retinal cryopexy, is a treatment that uses intense cold therapy to create and induce a chorioretinal scar to proactively destroy abnormally growing retinal or choroidal tissue. The retina is a vital aspect of the eye that allows an individual to see clearly. Located in the back of the eye, it is the thin membrane that acts similar to the film within a camera. Certain disorders of the retina, such as tears and detachments, or disorders that cause abnormal tissue, scars or blood vessels to form, can be treated with cryopexy. This treatment creates a scar, in order to stop the progression of the abnormal growth. Our skilled and trained Jacksonville, FL retina surgeons treat retinal tears with success using this advanced technique.
What to Expect
Cryopexy to correct a disorder of the retina is performed using local anesthesia. The treatment is performed on-site at our retina center. During the treatment, a metal probe is placed against the eye. The tip of the probe becomes very cold as the practitioner places pressure on the foot pedal control. The coldness consists of a rapid expansion of cold gases, most commonly nitrous oxide. When the gas passes through the probe it targets the areas within the eye, stimulating scar formation which seals the edge of a tear or abnormal growth. This freezing process can take place numerous times during a treatment phase, and is followed by a rapid thawing process. The freezing treatment process allows the retina to regain contact with the healthy tissue underneath it.
After a cryopexy treatment, patients are monitored for about an hour and pain medication is provided to help ease discomfort. Immediately following the procedure, patients will experience blurred vision and the eye that was treated will be red and swollen. The recovery from this surgery typically takes up 10-14 days. Short-term, continued use of pain medication, as well as cold compresses applied to the eyelid will help with discomfort. Cryopexy offers a good outcome for many patients. It prevents the progression or spread of infection, bleeding, and scarring, and for retinal detachments, approximately 90% of cases can be repaired, and some vision restored. However, for positive outcomes such as the one mentioned here, it is imperative that early treatment be sought as soon as a diagnosis has been made.
Cryopexy is an effective surgical treatment that allows patients to overcome a variety of eye conditions, and regain vision. To see if you are a candidate for this procedure, we invite you to call our eye clinic and learn more today.