Laser Floater Removal (LFR), also known as floater laser treatment or laser vitreolysis is a minimally invasive procedure that can eliminate the visual disturbance caused by floaters. It is performed in your ophthalmologist’s office and typically takes 20-60 minutes per treatment session. On average, patients will require two treatment sessions to achieve a satisfactory result.
The goal of Laser Floater Removal is to achieve a “functional improvement”. That is, to allow you to return to “normal” day-to-day activities without the hindrance of floaters.
How does Laser Floater Removal work?
LFR involves the application of extremely quick (nanosecond) pulses of low-energy laser light to evaporate the vitreous opacities and to sever the vitreous strands. During this process, the laser energy evaporates the constituent molecules to form a gas. The end result is that the floater is removed and/or reduced to a size that no longer impedes vision.
Who will benefit from LFR?
While some floaters can be effectively treated, several floater types are difficult to treat and/or less likely to regress than others. To that end, it is necessary to first undergo an ophthalmic examination in order to determine your eligibility for laser floater removal treatment.
Generally-speaking, if you suffer from persistent moving shadows in your vision due to vitreal condensations, fibers, strands, and/or clouds, you are a good candidate for laser floater removal. A number of factors, such as age, onset of symptoms and floater characteristics, will also determine whether laser floater removal is your best treatment option.
Complications and side effects
Reported side effects and complications associated with laser floater removal are rare. Side effects may include cataract and intraocular pressure (IOP) spike as well as retinal complications such as haemorrhage or tears.