Argon Laser is used in Ophthalmology to perform a type of treatment called Photocoagulation. Photocoagulation is a therapeutic technique that uses a strong light source with defined wavelengths to coagulate tissues – the light energy produced by the laser is absorbed by the tissue to be treated (called Target Tissue) and is converted into thermal energy (this type of laser is a type of thermal lasers).
When the temperature of the target tissue exceeds 65ºC, denaturation of its proteins occurs, resulting in what is called Coagulative Necrosis.
The effectiveness of Photocoagulation depends on how the beam of light penetrates the ocular surface and how it is absorbed by target tissue – light is absorbed primarily in ocular tissues containing melanin, xantholytic pigment and hemoglobin. The area of effective photocoagulation (diameter and depth) is also related to the intensity, duration and size of the “spot” used.
The treatment of Photocoagulation is performed with topical anesthesia using a special contact lens suitable for the type of treatment and area of the eye to be treated.
Argon Laser treatment is mainly used in the following medical conditions:
Used in Iridectomies, Iridoplasties and Trabeculoplasties.
Vascular Retinal Diseases
Mainly in Diabetic Retinopathy (where photocoagulation is of fundamental importance to prevent disease progression and blindness), but also in the processes of Venous Thrombosis, Macro aneurysms, Retinal Vasculitis situations, and in all clinical situations that may give rise to Retinal Ischemia that is always likely to complicate with the formation of neo-vessels which may give result in serious intraocular complications.
Degenerative Diseases of the Peripheral Retina
Retinal holes or tears that, if untreated, may result Retinal Detachment. Argon Laser is of fundamental importance in the prophylaxis / prevention of this situation.
Tumors, Hemangiomas and Neovascular membranes.