Retinal laser photocoagulation is commonly used for treatment of focal vascular leakage in the retina (macular edema), proliferative retinopathy (diabetic retinopathy and vein occlusion) and retinal tears or limited retinal detachment. This is an in-office procedure. An anesthetic drop is applied to the eye and a coupling gel with a contact lens is placed over the eye.

The laser procedure consists of bright light lasting for a few minutes. Some patients report pressure or mild pain during the procedure. Immediately after the procedure, vision will be discolored and blurred but will return in a few minutes. After the procedure, patients will most often experience the same level of vision as before the procedure. Patching of the treated eye is not necessary after laser procedures.