Laser photocoagulation is eye surgery using a laser to shrink or destroy abnormal structures in the retina, or to intentionally cause scarring.

Your doctor will perform this surgery at an outpatient or office setting.

Photocoagulation takes place by using the laser to create a microscopic burn in the target tissue.

The laser spots are usually applied in 1 of 3 patterns.

Before the procedure, you will be given eye drops to dilate your pupils. Rarely, you will get a shot of a local anesthetic. The shot may be uncomfortable.

You will be awake and pain-free during the procedure.

• You will be seated with your chin in a chin rest. A special lens will be placed on your eye. The lens contains mirrors that help the doctor aim the laser. You will be instructed to look straight ahead or at a target light with your other eye.

• The doctor will aim the laser at the area of the retina needing treatment. With each pulse of the laser, you will see a flash of light.

Depending on the condition being treated, there may be only a few pulses, or as many as 500.