Cyclocryotherapy for glaucoma

In cyclocryotherapy, an extremely cold instrument (probe) is repeatedly applied to the sclera, the white part of the eye. The probe destroys the ciliary body, the part of the eye that produces fluid.

Usually medication to numb the eye is injected behind the eyeball (retrobulbar anesthesia) before the procedure. After the procedure, the pressure in the eye may briefly rise. The person may have moderate to severe pain after this procedure.

Cyclocryotherapy may be used to treat severe glaucoma that has not improved after other types of treatment or surgery have been tried. It may be used to treat:

Complications of cyclocryotherapy may include:

  • A sudden increase in eye pressure.
  • Bleeding.
  • Shrinkage of the eyeball (hypotony) due to a decrease in the pressure inside the eye. This may lead to clouding of the lens (cataract).

Because it can cause loss of central vision, which is needed to read and see details clearly, cyclocryotherapy is not usually used for people who have relatively good central vision.

Last Updated: May 23, 2008

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