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Equipment used to perform cryosurgery on the eye, England, 1980

Cryosurgery involves the use of extreme cold to destroy tumours and other abnormal and unwanted tissues and has been practised since the late 1800s. This equipment is used in cryosurgery on the eye. In particular, to treat trichiasis (caused when eyelashes grow in towards the eye) and repair rips to the retina to prevent any further damage, such as retinal detachment. In the case of retina repairs, the pencil-like cryoprobe at the end of the wire would be placed on the rip of the retina and cooled using carbon dioxide. This leads to the formation of a scar which holds the retina to the underlying layer. Cryosurgery can be performed under both local and general anaesthetic. The equipment was made by Keeler Instruments Ltd.

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    Glossary: cryosurgical equipment

    equipment used in cryosurgery

    Glossary: cryosurgery

    The use of extreme cold in a part of the body to freeze and destroy unwanted tissues.

    Glossary: retinal detachment

    disorder of the eye in which the retina peels away from its underlying layer of support tissue. Initial detachment may be localized, but without rapid treatment the entire retina may detach, leading to vision loss and blindness.

    Glossary: anaesthetic

    An agent that causes insensitivity to pain. Applied to either the whole body (general anaesthetic) or a particular area or region (local anaesthetic).