Retinal Laser Photocoagulation
Laser photocoagulation treatments are used for a variety of retinal diseases, including diabetic retinopathy, retinal tears or more. Retinal lasers are performed in the office and are non-invasive procedures. Your eye must be dilated for laser treatment.
Panretinal photocoagulation (PRP)
Panretinal photocoagulation (PRP) is a treatment of the peripheral retina with a large number of laser spots to stabilize sick parts of the retina that can cause bleeding, swelling or detachment if left untreated. PRP can be done safely with or without a numbing injection; talk with your BARA doctor about the best way to stay comfortable during your PRP laser procedure..
Focal laser photocoagulation
Focal laser is a delicate treatment of the retina near the center with a limited number of light laser spots. Focal laser can be helpful in reducing retinal swelling or blood vessel leakage in selected cases, often in conjunction with intravitreal injections. Micropulse is a variation of focal laser that is used in select cases and allows safe treatment of the center of the retina. Your doctor may place a contact lens on your eye during the treatment.
Laser for lattice, retinal hole, tear or localized detachment
Laser photocoagulation is the most common treatment for peripheral retinal thinning or breaks such as holes or tears, and laser is sometimes used to barricade very small retinal detachments. Laser is used to create rows of laser spots around the problem area. The laser spots act like glue, and rather than closing the break, the laser acts like welding to contain the problem and prevent progression which would result in vision loss.
Floaters are common in many of the conditions treated with retinal laser photocoagulation. Retinal laser photocoagulation does not reduce or treat floaters, but often treats the underlying disease that caused the floaters in the first place.
Care after your laser procedure
Redness and aching are common after PRP laser and may occur after other laser treatments as well. You may take Tylenol, Motrin or equivalent medications before or after the procedure to help reduce discomfort. There are no restrictions on activity, diet or travel after laser treatments, but your doctor may give you activity restrictions related to the underlying condition (no heavy lifting after a retinal bleed, for example). Ask your BARA doctor if you have questions about restrictions after your laser procedure.