A 42-year-old woman with sickle cell anemia and proliferative retinopathy underwent neodymium-YAG laser therapy for a taut posterior hyaloid membrane causing peripapillary and peripheral traction detachment of the retina. Vitrectomy was not done because the patient required anticoagulation. A Q-switched YAG laser was capable of cutting holes in the taut membrane, but treatment 2 to 3 mm from the retina resulted in microperforation of a retinal vein and focal areas of damage to the retinal pigment epithelium. The damage to the retinal pigment epithelium was not immediately apparent, and ophthalmoscopically visible lesions were seen only when the patient was reexamined 48 hours later.
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