Micro-pulse laser therapy is an advanced laser that allows the retinal tissue to cool between laser pulses. This is very effective in sparing tissue and vision while treating many retinopathies. Lasers are most commonly used for treatment of diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration, vein occlusion, retinal tears, and early retinal detachment.
When treating with the micro-pulse laser, the patient may have dim vision for a minimal time following treatment. The eye may be patched for a few hours after laser, and a driver is recommended.
This treatment is occasionally used for patients with wet macular degeneration in which abnormal blood vessels cause fluid to leak beneath the retina. During photodynamic therapy (PDT), a medication called visudyne is injected into the patient’s bloodstream and eventually collects within the abnormal blood vessels. A laser is used to activate the visudyne, causing destruction of the abnormal blood vessels without damaging surrounding tissue. This treatment can also be used for patients with central serous chorioretinopathy.
Once treatment has been completed, the patient is advised to wear long-sleeved clothing, a hat, and sunglasses. This type of treatment does cause sunlight sensitivity for up to 5 days.
This is a laser that is used to treat a variety of eye conditions. Panretinal photocoagulation (PRP) laser is most often used to reduce or eliminate the growth of abnormal blood vessels, thereby decreasing the risk of a vitreous hemorrhage or a retinal detachment. The treatment cannot restore vision that has already been lost, but it can reduce the risk of vision loss, a major complication of retinal diseases.
The procedure is performed using a local anesthetic. After the laser has been performed, patients will need a driver to take them home. Vision will be blurry due to dilation, and you may experience mild pain for a day or two.
Intravitreal injections are commonly used to treat retinal diseases such as diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration, and retinal vein occlusion. Intravitreal injections are a very effective and minimally invasive procedure. Common injections used are anti-VEGF therapies (Avastin, Eylea, Lucentis) that can reduce swelling in the macula and suppress the growth of abnormal blood vessels, preventing further vision loss. Many of these injections are given on a continual basis. Other injections may include corticosteroids (Dexamethasone, Ozurdex, Triesence, Triamcinolone, Kenalog) to reduce inflammation and treat conditions such as macular edema.
This procedure is done in-office and only requires topical anesthesia. The eye is cleaned with an antiseptic solution, and then the eye is held open with a wire speculum. The medication is injected directly into the eye. Patients may experience some slight discomfort after treatment and may see floaters in their vision for a few days.
Yag laser capsulotomy may be used if a patient has developed a clouding of the capsule behind the intraocular lens following cataract surgery. The clouding of the capsule can cause an increase in glare or decrease in visual acuity.
This procedure is generally painless and only local anesthesia is used. The doctor places a lens on the eye and directs the laser beam at the cloudy capsule, creating a small hole in it to clear the vision.
Cryotherapy is used to treat retinal tears, early retinal detachments, tumors, vascular lesions, and different retinopathies. This procedure is very similar to a laser treatment and consists of transmitting freezing temperatures to the retina by use of a small probe on the exterior surface of the eye. The intense cold can seal retinal tears and leaking retinal blood vessels.
Vision may be blurred and some discomfort is expected after this procedure. The eye will be patched for a number of hours. Healing time typically takes about 2 weeks.