Argon Laser

It is a widely-used laser in ophthalmology, mainly in retinal lesions. Its mechanism of action is through photocoagulation of ocular tissue. It has three main characteristics: it sends out rays of the same wavelength, same colour and direction. It is an outpatient and painless procedure. Before the process is performed, the patient is administered dilating eye drops and then topical anesthesia. The amount and manner of laser shots depend on the disease and the doctor.

The laser emits two different wavelengths, the blue-green one (488-514nm) and the green monochromatic one (514nm). Both wavelengths are absorbed by melanin and haemoglobin.



The objective of using the argon laser on the retina is to produce a therapeutic burn to a problematic area of the retina while causing minimal damage to surrounding areas.

The main indications for retinal photocoagulation with argon laser are:

  • Diabetic Retinopathy

The diabetic retinopathy (DR) is the most frequent cause of blindness in people between the ages of 20 and 65. The prevalence of the different types of diabetic retinopathy is increased by the duration of diabetes and the age of the patient. Good metabolic control of diabetic patients is important in order to delay the appearance of these conditions.

Diabetic maculopathy is the most common cause of visual alterations in diabetic patients. This vision loss can be due to the presence of a diabetic macular edema, macular ischemia, or the consequences of neovascularization induced by ischemia.

Among the available treatments for diabetic retinopathy, you can find the application of intravitreal Antiangiogenic Substances and the Argon Laser.

  • Retinal Detachment Prevention

The main causes that lead to retinal detachment (RD) are tears due to vitreous traction, palisade degenerations, and retinal holes.

The objective with Argon laser is to create a chorioretinal scar around each of the tears to prevent the vitreous fluid to get into the intraretinal space and produce a retinal detachment. The acute symptomatic tears, tears with flaps of skin, high myopic patients and patients who have a history in retinal detachment are at higher risk of retinal detachment.

Desgarro en región Temporal superior con opérculo libre

Desgarro sellado con Laser Argon

  • Retinal vein thrombosis

Retinal vein thrombosis is the occlusion of venous and arterial branches that nourish the retina. Venous occlusions are more common than arterial ones.

There are several risk factors that influence these vascular obstructions. Among them we can mention: Systemic Blood Pressure, hypercholesterolemia, obesity, smoking, Diabetes Mellitus, and diseases that increase blood viscosity, such as the antiphospholipid syndrome, polycythemia vera, etc. Among the local factors, you can find the open-angle glaucoma and an increase in intraocular pressure.

    • Retinal vein obstruction

The patient consults about a painless loss of vision intensity in only one eye, which may affect the complete visual field (CRVO) or just a part of it (RVO).

It is advisable to consult with an ophthalmologist, specialized in retinal diseases as soon as possible. The two most frequent complications are the appearance of macular edema, and the formation of neovessels. Through the Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT), the spreading and evolution of the macular edema can be evaluated and a treatment determined.

Among the currently available treatments, we offer

– Photocoagulation with Argon Laser: if there is ischemia or neovascularization of the posterior segment of the eye.

– Repeated anti-angiogenic intraocular injections, which can reduce vascular permeability and, therefore, liquid exudation.

– Dexametasona (Ozurdex®) sustained-release implan

Choosing one treatment or another has to do with strict medical judgements and in some occasions, depending on how severe a condition is, a combination of several judgements is needed.

Trombosis de Vena Central de Retina: Hemorragias difusas en llama y exudados algodonosos

Trombosis de Vena Central de Retina tratada con panfotocoagulación con Laser Argon