Cryotherapy for Retinal Tears and Detachment
Cryotherapy is a means of freezing the retina where a retinal tear has occurred. This
keeps the retina attached in its proper place inside of the eye. The cryo probe is
placed on the outside of the eye over the area of the tear. The doctor uses a light
mounted on his head and a lens held in his hand to check the position of the probe
and make sure it is in the right place. The probe is turned on and a small area is
frozen in a few seconds. You will notice a cold feeling in that area. Multiple areas
may need to be frozen to seal the tear. Cryotherapy is done on the front half of the
retina where a laser cannot be used.
This treatment is done at the clinic. The
vision in the eye is checked before the
treatment and the eye is dilated. Numbing
drops or an injection is placed into the tissue
near the area of the treatment. The doctor
may also put an antibiotic ointment in the
eye after the treatment. This will make your
vision temporarily blurry. No drops or
ointment are needed after that. The eye
takes about 10 days to heal. Please check
with your doctor for physical restrictions.
You can use Acetaminophen, if needed.
Some people have a cold feeling or “ice cream headache” during or after the
treatment. Your vision may be slightly blurry for several days, and the eye may
look red for the next few weeks. Please call the clinic if you have any concerns or
other symptoms such as increase in floaters or loss of vision.
University Station Eye Clinic, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday
When the clinic is closed, your call will be forwarded to the hospital paging
operator. Ask for the “Eye Resident on Call”. Give the operator your name and
phone number with area code. The doctor will call you back.
If you live out of the area, call 1-800-323-8942 and ask to be transferred to the
Please call if you have any questions or concerns.
Your health care team may have given you this information as part of your care. If so, please use it and call if you have
any questions. If this information was not given to you as part of your care, please check with your doctor. This is not
medical advice. This is not to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Because each person’s health
needs are different, you should talk with your doctor or others on your health care team when using this information. If
you have an emergency, please call 911. Copyright © 1/2016. University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics Authority. All
right reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#5098