The Micropulse Yellow Laser is an innovative medical device that emits pulses of yellow light of very short duration (micro-pulses). It is used for the treatment of numerous diseases affecting the retina. It is particularly indicated for the treatment of maculopathies, the diseases affecting the macula, which is the area of the retina that provides our distinct central vision and allows us to recognize faces, read, write, appreciate colors, etc. Specifically, the Micropulse Yellow Laser proved to be decisive in significantly stopping the progression of diseases such as chronic central serous chorioretinopathy (CRSC), diabetic retinopathy with macular edema, and retinal vein thrombosis with macular edema.
If it is true that there are unfortunately no cures able to definitively restore sight to those suffering from some form of maculopathy, then the laser therapies currently available can slow down the development of the disease.
What Differentiates The Micropulse Yellow Laser From Other Laser Treatments
The lasers used to treat retinal diseases work through the emission of a continuous green light that determines the warming of the macula. This makes them effective but also particularly invasive towards the treated ocular zone; injuries to the photoreceptor cells of the retina and the consequent formation of large “scars” which, depending on where they are positioned, can even lead to complications such as further reduction of visual acuity, visual field, color perception, night vision, and contrast sensitivity.
The Micropulse Yellow Laser, on the other hand, emits micropulses of yellow light and are of very short duration, interspersed with brief periods of rest. This eliminates the problem of overheating of affected tissues and therefore, allows the delicate central part of the macula to be treated, the fovea centralis, without the typical risks of conventional lasers such as the aforementioned damage to the visual cell layer (photoreceptors).
How The Micropulse Yellow Laser Works
By emitting ultrashort pulses (in the microsecond sequence) with a highly regulated switch, the Micropulse Yellow Laser does not create a thermal effect to “burn” the retinal cells and force the activation of the surrounding cells. In contrast, it generates scattered activation, without burns, of the cells of the underlying layer called retinal pigmented epithelium (RPE). It is a selective barrier to and a vegetative regulator of the overlying photoreceptor layer, thereby playing a key role in its maintenance.
This cellular reactivation allows for the reabsorption of the liquid build-up that causes visual impairment because it accumulates in the central retina (macula).
How To Perform A Treatment With The Micropulse Yellow Laser
The process is painless, quick, and safe. Compared to conventional lasers, treatment times are reduced and the piercing sensation that is often associated with the said lasers is greatly diminished. The patient is instilled with mydriatic eye drops to dilate the pupil and subsequently, a few anesthetic eye drops. The patient is seated in front of the laser and after the session, there may be a brief feeling of dizziness, nausea, minor annoyances that easily go away within a few minutes.
The results are apparent after a period of time that is generally longer than that of traditional lasers, usually one to three months.