Diabetic macular edema is shown to be treated successfully by central focal argon laser coagulation in most cases. Since February 1986, diabetic patients with macular edema were evaluated prospectively and treated by focal argon laser coagulation and/or grid pattern. A second group of diabetic patients with comparable macular edema and similar retinal changes was explored retrospectively. Visual acuity after treatment in relation to preoperative visual acuity was measured and statistically compared with visual acuity of the second group without laser treatment. The results show that laser treatment is important for stabilization of visual acuity but does not increase visual acuity beneath 0.2. Indications for treatment are discussed.