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What is retinal laser surgery?
Retinal laser surgery involves the use of laser technology to provide precise and focused treatment for certain retinal diseases. The retina is the thin and delicate layer is located at the back of VI, Which contains light-sensitive cells that stimulate nerve impulses to transmit signals to the brain so that it can interpret what are you seeing and create a visual image. In specific cases, retinal laser surgery is necessary to make sure that the patient’s vision is maintained and that vision loss is avoided. Dr. Griffeth will explain the best treatment plan for you during your consultation at his vision office.
When should I consider retinal laser surgery?
The most common retinal conditions that may require retinal laser surgery include the following:
Retinal holes or tears are described generally as small breaks in the retinal layer. The presence of these lesions could sometimes cause the vitreous fluid inside the eye to flow onto the retina. If a considerable amount of vitreous fluid gets to the back of the retina, it may cause retinal detachment, which is a serious condition that can lead to loss of vision and should be given immediate medical attention. Retinal holes or tears often develop and do not pose any immediate risk to the patient’s vision unless it escalates to something as serious as retinal detachment. This case, retinal laser surgery is necessary to seal the holes or tears on the retina so that they do not become enlarged and fluid leakage is prevented.
- Photocoagulation is the retinal laser surgery of choice for treating retinal holes or tears. During the procedure, a laser beam is directed towards the holes or tears on the retina, causing scar tissue to form and essentially closes up the breaks.
Patients with eye diseases related to diabetes, or diabetic retinopathy, may also require retinal laser surgery when damage to the blood vessels occurs. Diabetic retinopathy has symptoms that develop gradually and may not be easily identified from the onset. It is mostly due to this fact that, when left untreated or when not discovered earlier, diabetic retinopathy can cause blindness in patients.
- One type of retinal laser surgery that may be used to treat diabetic retinopathy is a focal laser treatment, or photocoagulation. This involves the creation of laser burns on the abnormal vascular lesions that grow around the retina to slow down or stop the leakage of blood and other fluids into the eyes. This considered as a generally safe procedure, but patients may experience minor side effects after the laser treatment such as blurred vision and the appearance of spots within the patient’s field of vision.
- Scatter laser treatment is another type of retinal laser surgery that is used to treat diabetic retinopathy and is also referred to as panretinal photocoagulation. This method creates scattered laser burns on the abnormal blood vessels so that they form scar tissue.
What generally happens during retinal laser surgery?
- At the beginning of the retinal laser surgery, doctors usually administer medicated eye drops that dilate the pupils to allow a better view of the retina.
- Local anesthetics maybe used to minimize discomfort during the procedure. Specialized contact lenses will be placed inside the eyes during the process to hold the eyelids open and magnify that areas indicated for treatment.
- The appropriate laser will be focused on to the retina to deliver the specific type of treatment required by the patient. During the retinal laser surgery procedure, patients will see what looks like flashes of light asked laser works.
What should I expect after retinal laser surgery?
It is normal for patients to experience blurred vision immediately after retinal laser surgery. In addition to this, the eyes will be highly sensitive to light because the pupils will remain dilated for up to four hours after the administration of the eye drops. For this, a protective eye shield will be recommended. Dr. Griffeth will also you, the patient, with guidelines that must be followed for the duration of the recovery period.