This leaflet tells you about laser treatment and will give you an overview of having laser treatment at our hospital.
The purpose of laser treatment is to preserve sight. It is therefore important that treatment is administered early, before there is significant visual loss. This is why regular eye screening is so important. Laser treatment seals off the fragile new blood vessels preventing leakage of fluid and blood.
Laser is a special type of high energy light which can be accurately focused. This light can be precisely controlled allowing the operator to ‘zap’ tiny blood vessels at the back of the eye. The patient is seated at a slit lamp which allows the ophthalmologist to see the area being treated.
Often laser therapy involves hundreds of small laser burns which may need to be applied over several sessions.
No. This is an outpatient procedure.
Not always. Some patients may require a local anaesthetic.
Yes. A small proportion of patients may actually suffer a deterioration of vision. Loss of peripheral vision is more likely.
Side effects of laser therapy are rare but may include
Your ophthalmologist will advise you on the potential risks which would depend on the extent of retinopathy in your eyes.
Dr Nishan Wijenaike
West Suffolk Diabetes Service