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Cryotherapy: A fall from grace, but not a crash


That cryotherapy was to be useful in ophthalmology was first shown by Frederich Schoeler (1844-1918) in a German paper, in which he described application of cold carbonic acid crystals to the sclera of rabbits and showed that a lesion of the retina could be produced.

Cryosurgical instruments

Although Dr. Sudarsky was a retinal specialist, he developed his probe for primary use in cataract surgery. Each development strengthened the use of cryosurgery in ophthalmology.


Today cryoextraction of cataracts is used primarily if the lens is subluxed and extracapsular cataract extraction might lead to the lens falling into the vitreous cavity. Cryothermy has been used in multiple areas of ocular therapy and may still be used today for any of the following reasons:

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