Laser for Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy is caused by the growth of abnormal new blood vessels in the retina—vessels which leak blood and fluid into the surrounding retina and cause interference with vision. The light from a laser can safely cause these new vessels to regress. In addition to undergoing laser treatments, it is important to maintain the best possible control of your diabetes and to have your retina examined as often as recommended, usually at least once a year. The laser treatments are performed at our office ambulatory surgery center. Usually three sessions are required for each eye.

Arrive one hour before your scheduled treatment in order to have the pupil of your eye dilated with eyedrops.  The light of the focusing instrument is bright and somewhat uncomfortable, but not any more so than the instruments during office examinations. A small device similar to an eye cup is placed over your eye. It keeps your eyelids out of the way and holds your eye steady allowing me to focus very precisely on the portions of the retina which need to be treated. This device may feel a little strange, but it doesn’t hurt at all.

Your vision will be blurry for the rest of the day from the eyedrops and also, there will be an afterimage from the bright lights which takes twenty to thirty minutes to fade.

All regular medications can be resumed immediately.  Tylenol may be taken for pain, although the laser treatment itself usually does not cause any discomfort. Reading and watching TV are permissible. Vigorous physical activity should be avoided for one day. No special eyedrops are required.