Laser in intraocular tumours

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What does it involve?

The laser is essentially applied in two ways. The first method is transpupillary thermotherapy, which involves heating the tumour mass for a few minutes to damage the chromosomes in the tumour cells and cause eventual atrophy. The other is photocoagulation at over 60º, which involves burning the vascularisation of the tumour to prevent the tumour mass from reaching the bloodstream by causing atrophy due to lack of blood supply. Firstly, the laser is applied to the artery that carries blood to the tumour base, then, to the tumour base, which is atrophied, and, finally, to the vein, which returns blood from the tumour base to the bloodstream.

When is it carried out?

Vascular tumours are the most common tumours to be treated with the laser, because they are the ones that require more blood supply and are, therefore, ideally suited to laser treatment.

Prior examination

In terms of vascular tumours, it is important to ensure that a systemic disease, such as Von Hippel Lindau syndrome, has not caused the tumour in the eyeball. Von Hippel Lindau syndrome is directly transmitted from parents to children and can affect both sexes; as well as suffering from tumours in the retina, patients can develop tumours in the brain, especially in the cerebellum and adrenal glands, and other locations. The disease can affect several organs and must be treated early, if it affects the eye, because, otherwise, in spite of intraocular tumours being benign, they can cause a significant loss of vision. This systemic disease usually affects both eyes.

Before the surgery

Patients should avoid strenuous exercise after surgery.


The laser’s impact spot must be relatively large with a long exposure time and moderate intensity to avoid rupturing the blood vessels during treatment.


There are no significant risks to take into account.

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