A cryopexy or retinal cryopexy is an eye procedure that treats various retinal conditions by destroying retinal tissue and inducing chorioretinal scar using extremely cold temperature. The procedure can be used for both young and adult patients. However it comes with a certain degree of risk, possible complications rarely occur, making it relatively safe and highly beneficial treatment.

Cryopexy can be recommended for patients with condition that affects the retina like:

  • Retinal detachment
  • Retinal ischemia or when retinal tissue lacks adequate oxygen supply
  • Abnormal proliferation of blood vessels in the retina
  • Coats disease
  • Retinoblastoma or intraocular tumors
  • Advanced glaucoma

Diseases which affect the retina are perhaps the most common cause of blindness or vision loss. The success rate of the Cryopexy is directly affected by the stage or degree of the retinal disorder involved in the patients. If the problem is caught early by performing Cryopexy can be performed and the success rate is very high. If the problem is detected at the late stage then the patients might require more than one round of the cryopexy for desired results.

Procedure of Cryopexy

It is performed under local anesthesia. The eye surgeon touches cryopexy probe which is an extremely cold instrument against the eye. Once the probe has been applied to the sclera and it begins to form water crystals of extreme cold, the surgeon rapidly thaws it, resulting in the tissue destruction and scar formation. After the procedure surgeon might prescribe some pain medication to help with any discomfort the patients are feeling.

After around 2 to 3 hours of the procedure patients are sent home with some instruction and medication. Complete recovery might take around 10 to 14 days with minor blurring, swelling and mild redness around the eye. If the symptoms prolong more than 2 weeks patients must schedule up a visit to the doctor.

Possible risk and complication

  • Infection
  • Perforation of the eye, generally due to anesthetic needle
  • Double vision
  • Subconjunctival hemorrhage
  • Glaucoma