In this paper an approach is described for segmenting medical images. We use active contour model, also known as snakes, and we propose an energy minimization procedure based on Genetic Algorithms (GA). The widely recognized power of deformable models stems from their ability to segment anatomic structures by exploiting constraints derived from the image data together with a priori knowledge about the location, size, and shape of these structures. The application of snakes to extract region of interest is, however, not without limitations. As is well known, there may be a number of problems associated with this approach such as initialization, existence of multiple minima, and the selection of elasticity parameters. We propose the use of GA to overcome these limits. GAs offer a global search procedure that has shown its robustness in many tasks, and they are not limited by restrictive assumptions as derivatives of the goal function. GAs operate on a coding of the parameters (the positions and the total number of snake points) and their fitness function is the total snake energy. We employ a modified version of the image energy which consider both the magnitude and the direction of the gradient and the Laplacian of Gaussian. Experimental results on synthetic images as well as on medical images are reported. Images used in this work are ocular fundus images, snakes result very useful in the segmentation of the Foveal Avascular Zone. The experiments performed with ocular fundus images show that the proposed method is promising in the early detection of the diabetic retinopathy.