March 9, 2018 Conference
Use of laser vitreolysis for symptomatic floaters has increased in recent years, but prospective studies are not available to determine the efficacy of this procedure, and the complication profile of this intervention is poorly understood. In 2017 a retrospective assessment was performed of all cases of complications following laser vitreolysis that were voluntarily reported by practitioners throughout the United States to the ASRS ReST Committee. Complications included elevated intraocular pressure leading to glaucoma; cataracts, including posterior capsule defects requiring cataract surgery; retinal tear; retinal detachment; retinal hemorrhages; scotomas; and an increased number of floaters. Although the rate of complications cannot be determined because the denominator of total cases is unknown, these serious sight threatening complications merit the performance of prospective studies to better understand the efficacy of this procedure and the frequency of attendant complications. Until then, practitioners should be aware of the profile of potential complications to properly inform patients during the consent process.
This debate was given by Fina Barouch, MD.