The selective retina treatment (SRT) targets retinal diseases associated with disorders in the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE). Due to the ophthalmoscopic invisibility of the laser-induced RPE effects, we investigate a noninvasive optoacoustic real-time dosimetry system. In vitro porcine RPE is irradiated with a Nd:YLF laser (527 nm, 1.7-µs pulse duration, 5 to 40 µJ, 30 pulses, 100-Hz repetition rate). Generated acoustic transients are measured with a piezoelectric transducer. During 27 patient treatments, the acoustic transients are measured with a transducer embedded in an ophthalmic contact lens. After treatment, RPE damage is visualized by fluorescein angiographic leakage. Below the RPE damage threshold, the optoacoustic transients show no pulse-to-pulse fluctuations within a laser pulse train. Above threshold, fluctuations of the individual transients among each other are observed. If optoacoustic pulse-to-pulse fluctuations are present, RPE leakage is observed in fluorescein angiography. In 96% of the irradiated areas, RPE leakage correlated with the optoacoustic defined threshold value. A noninvasive optoacoustic real-time dosimetry for SRT is developed and proved in vitro and during patient treatment. It detects the ophthalmoscopically invisible laser-induced damage of RPE cells and overcomes practical limitations of SRT for use in private practice.