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Retinal Laser

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Laser treatments are used for a variety of retinal diseases, including diabetic retinopathy, retinal tears, retinal detachment, and more. Retinal lasers are performed in the office and are non-invasive procedures. Prior to treatment your eye must be dilated. 

Panretinal photocoagulation (PRP)
Panretinal photocoagulation (PRP) is a treatment of the peripheral retina often performed in retinal vascular disease and diabetes.  If the retina becomes ischemic, or lacks adequate blood flow, it can produce signals to stimulate new blood vessel growth, a process termed neovascularization.  While this might sound like a good repair mechanism, often the blood vessels grow in a disorganized fashion and can cause elevated eye pressure, large bleeds, or retinal detachments.  The goal of PRP is to permanently reduce the production of this signal by ablating peripheral ischemic areas of the retina.  PRP is an essential therapy in the treatment of diabetic retinopathy or retinal vein/artery occlusion.

Focal laser photocoagulation
Focal laser is a delicate treatment of the center retina (the macula).  Small dilated areas of blood vessels called microaneurysms are ablated with laser to minimize leakage and macular edema.  Micropulse is a variation of focal laser that is used in select cases and allows safe treatment of the very central retina, termed the fovea.

Laser for lattice, retinal hole, tear or localized detachment
Laser is often used for the treatment of peripheral retinal thinning (lattice degeneration), holes or tears, or very small retinal detachments. Laser is used to create rows of laser spots around the area of concern. The laser spots help form a scar between the retina and the eye wall to seal off lattice/holes or barricade small detachments. 

Floaters
Floaters are common in many of the conditions treated with retinal laser photocoagulation. Retinal laser 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
Laser procedures are often tolerated quite well with minimal discomfort. You may take over the counter pain medication before or after the procedure if needed. There are usually no restrictions on activity travel after laser treatments.

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