Laser Eye Surgery for Diabetic Retinopathy San Diego

Lasers have many applications in medicine, including treating a complication of diabetes known as diabetic retinopathy. Diabetes can cause new, abnormal blood vessels to grow inside the retina and leak blood and fluid. Laser therapy is instrumental in sealing the leaking blood vessels to reduce swelling as well as decrease the chances of further blood vessel growth.

The San Diego diabetic retinopathy treatment team at California Retina Associates is highly skilled in using lasers to seal off leaking blood vessels that someone with diabetic retinopathy develops, and prevent the further growth of additional abnormal blood vessels.

Although laser therapy usually cannot restore vision that has already been lost, it can reduce the risk of further vision loss. We offer only the safest and most efficient laser eye surgery techniques to preserve our patients’ vision. We utilize the Argon laser, which is a green-wavelength laser.

Focal Laser Photocoagulation

First, our San Diego diabetic retinopathy specialists identify the areas that are leaking fluid into the macula using techniques like fluorescein angiography. Then, we treat those areas directly with focused laser energy.

The laser isn’t directed at the macula itself, as that could impair vision; rather, it is directed at the small areas around the macula that are leaking blood and fluid. The laser closes off leaking or bleeding abnormal blood vessels. Our team can also use the laser to remove damaged eye tissue or excise scar tissue.

Several treatments may be needed to see the desired results.

Scatter Laser Photocoagulation

Scatter laser photocoagulation is a bit different from focal laser photocoagulation, and it is used when the leaking blood vessels cover a large area of the retina. Over a thousand individual laser spots are used to create multiple burns around the edges of the retina (as opposed to the center of the retina). These burns prevent the growth of new, abnormal blood vessels that can leak fluid and blood.

Our San Diego diabetic retinopathy treatment team may suggest a series of treatments in order to see the desired results.

What Happens during Laser Diabetic Retinopathy Surgery?

Laser treatments are usually performed in a dark room at one of our state-of-the-art locations. After numbing the eye with special drops, a contact lens is inserted into the eye and the patient is positioned in front of the laser light. The laser is aimed at the retina through the contact lens. It is usually a virtually painless experience.

After treatment, some patients have blurry vision and the eyes may feel tired or achy for a few days. They must have someone drive them home from the procedure and can resume their daily activities almost immediately. Prescription medications or painkillers are generally not needed.

Contact California Retina Associates

For more information about laser eye surgery to stop the complications of diabetic retinopathy and save vision, please make an appointment with the team at California Retina Associates. We can sit down with you to discuss the pros and cons of each option. Call or email us today to book your visit.