Laser vitreolysis (LASER ND YAG)
Laser vitreolysis is a new non-invasive, outpatient and painless treatment that can significantly improve visual disturbances caused by flying flies (myodesopsia).
Thanks to a special laser that is capable of producing pulses of nanoseconds, the opacified collagen fibers are vaporized and removed, or away from the line of sight to minimize their effects. ND YAG laser is among the most widely used laser devices in ophthalmological treatment. It is the ideal procedure that complies with the term of non-invasive ocular microsurgery., It does not require hospitalization or preoperative preparation of the patient, it is not necessary the incision or the surgical injury of various anatomical structures to address the indicated one.
What are flying flies?
The vitreous humor is a transparent and gelatinous substance located inside the eye, between the lens and the retina . As we age, vitreous humor can degenerate, losing its transparency and semi-liquid form. It is then when the collagen fibers present in the vitreous collapse and group together forming what we call flying flies .
In a more advanced state, sometimes, vitreous humor can end up separating entirely from the retina. This is known as posterior vitreous detachment, which usually causes a sudden increase in flying flies in number and size.
What is Laser Vitreolysis?
The goal of laser vitreolysis treatment is to get the patient to perform their daily activities without the vision impairment caused by these opacities.
Before starting, you will be given a drop of anesthesia to numb the surface of the eye. The laser will be applied through a special contact lens that the ophthalmologist will place in contact with the outside of your eye ( the cornea ). During treatment you may see small gas bubbles (result of vaporization of opacities by the laser) that are quickly absorbed by the eye.
The treatment can vary between 30-45 minutes. Once completed you will be prescribed anti-inflammatory drops for several days.
What results can I expect after treatment?
Immediately after finishing the treatment you can see small dark spots in the lower visual field due to the small gas bubbles that form during the treatment but dissolve rapidly. In some cases discomfort and redness in the eye may be experienced, as well as blurred vision directly after treatment.
Which patients benefit from laser vitreolysis treatment?
A thorough preoperative examination is necessary to determine if you are a good candidate for the treatment of laser vitreolysis.
- Age: In most cases, young patients under 45 years of age who have microscopic vitreous opacities less than 2 mm from the retina are not considered good candidates for treatment.
- Symptom appearance: If you’re flying flies have suddenly appeared, it may be caused by a posterior vitreous detachment, these cases can be treated with vitreolysis.
- Characteristics of opacities: if they are of considerable size with smoothed edges and located far from the retina and crystalline they can be treated with laser.
Complications and side effects
Reported cases of complications and side effects are very rare and scarce; they can include cataract and peaks of increased intraocular pressure.