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What is Cryotherapy?
Cryotherapy uses a nitrogen cooled probe to freeze the tissue it is in contact with. Freezing tissue causes damage that will result in scarring.
Why is Cryotherapy used in Retinal diseases?
In the retina, this scarring is used to seal retinal tears, treat retinal tumors, and control different types of retinopathy. The main advantage of using cryotherapy is that the treatment is applied externally, without any incisions into the eye.  Cryotherapy is also very powerful and can treat large areas that may be too big for Laser Photocoagulation treatment.
What are the risks associated with Cryotherapy?
The greatest risk with cryotherapy is that excessive tissue damage resulting from the freezing treatment to the retina, the outside of the eye, and the eyelid. During the procedure, care is taken to fully protect surrounding tissue from the treatment and only the minimum necessary amount is used to minimize the risk. 
How is Cryotherapy administered?
Cryotherapy can be administered in the office or in the operating room depending on the need for any associated procedures. Anesthesia is given either under the skin of the eye or behind the eye to prevent pain during the treatment. While looking into the eye through the pupil, the probe is placed on the outside of the eye allowing for exact placement of the treatment and the appropriate amount of freezing.  If no other procedures are done at the same time the eye may not need to be patched and no eye drops will be needed.
What is the recovery time?
Recovery from the cryotherapy procedure itself is very short and for many treatments normal activity can be resumed the next day. The retina will begin to heal and scar in a process taking 10-14 days to complete. If cryotherapy is used with another procedure the recovery can be longer, especially when used to treat a retinal detachment.
Dr Musa Abdelaziz Dr Jawad Qureshi Dr Johnathan Warminski Dr Luv Patel
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