Cryopexy is an outpatient surgical procedure that uses extreme cold therapy or freezing to treat retinal tears and other retinal conditions. It works by creating scar tissue that seals the tear to help prevent further damage or a complete retinal detachment. It can also be used to seal off leaking blood vessels or to halt the growth of abnormal blood vessels (neovascularization) in the eye.
What to Expect
Cryopexy is typically performed in our office and is sometimes combined with other retina surgeries or treatments, such as laser surgery, depending on your specific condition. The procedure itself typically takes less than 30 minutes.
First, drops are placed in your eye to numb it and to dilate your pupils. Then your Texas Retina Associates surgeon will use a special probe to apply intense cold energy to freeze the retina around the tear. This creates swelling that becomes scar tissue, sealing the retina to the wall of the eye. During the procedure, you may feel slight pressure or discomfort. Your retina surgeon will talk to you during the procedure to ensure you remain as comfortable as possible.
You may experience redness, swelling or blurry vision in the treated eye and should arrange for someone to drive you home. You may also see new floaters. However, these should decrease over time. Your doctor will also talk to you about avoiding strenuous activity until your retina has properly healed, which typically takes about 10-14 days.
For more information about retinal tears or to watch a video about cryopexy treatment, click here.