Prognosis following retinal tear laser surgery

Updated June 13, 2017

Retinal tear surgery can be done by laser or by cryotherapy. Both procedures seal the lifted piece of retina back to the wall of the eye by causing a scar to form. Laser repair is less irritating to the eye, according to the Mayo Clinic. Prognosis depends on the degree and cause of the tear.

Immediately after Surgery

Vision from laser may be decreased from the bright light for 10 to 15 minutes. There may be mild discomfort. Vision will be blurry.

Several Months afer Surgery

Vision could remain blurry for a long time after laser surgery. Depending on where the tear was, you could have a blind spot.

Side Effects

Light sensitivity and night blindness are common after laser surgery. Floaters may be seen initially from debris in the vitreous.


As with any medical procedure, there may be complications. Bleeding could occur, or a large scar could form. Blurry vision could be permanent. Pressure in the eye could rise to dangerous levels.


Repair of retinal tears is generally very successful. Vision recovery depends on retinal problems that existed before the tear or that caused the tear.

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About the Author

A registered nurse with more than 25 years of experience in oncology, labor/delivery, neonatal intensive care, infertility and ophthalmology, Sharon Perkins has also coauthored and edited numerous health books for the Wiley "Dummies" series. Perkins also has extensive experience working in home health with medically fragile pediatric patients.