The Argon laser is used to carry out a type of outpatient treatment called photocoagulation. This is a therapeutic technique used in various situations, but especially in retinalvascular diseases.
The Argon Laser is an intense beam of light with two different wavelengths, blue-green (488-514nm) and monochrome green (514nm). This is absorbed by the cells of the retinal pigment epithelium (dark layer that serves as a screen, turning the eye into a dark chamber), and is converted into thermal energy, increasing the temperature of the area where it is applied. When the temperature of the tissue to be treated exceeds 65ºC, its proteins are denatured, with consequent coagulation and formation of scar tissue.
The effectiveness of photocoagulation depends on how the light beam penetrates the ocular media and how it is absorbed by the target tissue. The light beam is absorbed mainly by ocular tissues such as the pigment epithelium, xantholic pigment (which coexists with that in the macula, the central part of the retina where the image is formed) and haemoglobin.