Retinal Laser Photocoagulation

A retinal laser photocoagulation is a procedure which uses laser with wavelengths matching the absorption spectrum of the retinal pigment epithelium to coagulate the cell layers, causing scarring between the choroid and retinal layers. The retinal laser procedure at the Japan International Eye Hospital is carried out by Laser 532.


This procedure is indicated for:

  • Photocoagulation of degenerated retina due to complications of diabetes.
  • Photocoagulation of retinal tear, limiting the risk of retinal detachment and retinal hemorrhage.
  • Limiting vascular endothelial growth factor.

Surgical Procedure

The retinal laser photocoagulation device at our Japan International Eye Hospital use the laser of 532mm wavelength to minimize the dissipated energy transmitted through the environment in the eyeball because it is highly absorbed by the pigment epithelial layer, hemoglobin, and oxidized hemoglobin. The constant wavelength laser helps ensure good treatment results, the device is equipped with a protective filter glass to minimize the reflected laser energy to 1/104 or less to protect your eyes. This retinal laser process covers the following steps:

Step 1: You will be applied with pupil dilation drops and numbing eye drops before the surgery.

Step 2: Your head will be kept fixed.  You keep the same sitting position during the surgery. Your head and chin are fixed at the positions ordered by the doctor. Your head will be secured with a belt or by the help of the nurse.

Step 3: Perform the procedure. Your doctor will put a lens on the surface of the to focus the laser, then performs laser to surrounds the hole/weak spot/tear in the retina. During the procedure, you should not speak, move your head or roll your eyes. If you cannot well coordinate with your doctor, you may consider delaying the procedure and making another appointment.

Notes after the Surgery
  • You should avoid water into your eye on the day of laser photocoagulation.
  • Apply medications as prescribed by your doctor
  • In the case of peripheral laser photocoagulation due to peripheral retinal degeneration: Work and study as normal, exercise is not limited. However, it is necessary to limit carrying too heavy items or practicing sports such as soccer, volleyball, tennis, badminton which pose a high risk of eye crash.
  • In the case of laser photocoagulation of retinal tear: In the first one or two weeks, you should do gentle activities, avoid vigorous movement, carry heavy loads and play high-risk sports.
Some Symptoms after the Photocoagulation
  • The photocoagulated retinal area will not be able to perceive the light and may, after the photocoagulation, have dark gaps (loss of visual field) at the photocoagulated area.
  • Cloudy vitreous humor, flash conditions which exist before the procedure remains after that.
  • Due to use of contact glasses during the laser, corneal abrasion in some cases can occur. If any, you will get a prescription by the doctor.
  • In some cases, you may feel a little pain which may last a few hours.
  • Due to the impact of laser light intensity, after the procedure, your visual images can be different in color (such as looking through a red prism). This condition may last in 2-3 hours.