Laser treatment for the peripheral retina (PRP)
Panretinal Photocoagulation (PRP) helps prevents further growth of abnormal blood vessels in the eye that has been damaged by conditions such as diabetes and retinal vein occlusions.
When the back of the eye is starved of blood or oxygen, the retina may respond by growing abnormal blood vessels in the eye. Unlike the natural blood vessels, these new abnormal ones can bleed into the jelly within the eye(vitreous haemorrhage) causing a sudden loss of vision that sometimes needs surgery to resolve. Rarely, these abnormal vessels cause a painful type of high pressure within the eye (neovascular glaucoma). Prompt treatment can reduce the risk of further visual loss and a blind painful eye. Treatment of these abnormal vessels and be with anti-VEGF injections or laser PRP. Anti-VEGF injections work quickly but need careful long term monitoring and often repeat courses of injections. PRP laser is more likely to give long term protection with needing just one or two treatment sessions. Adnan has experience of both treatments in complex patients and will advise you which treatment best suits your circumstances and the risks and benefits of each relevant to your future eye health.
Laser PRP treatment usually takes 15-30 minutes depending on how much treatment is required in your particular circumstance. Pupil dilating drops will be placed in the eye under-going treatment. This is to allow a good view of the retina. These drops have a temporary effect to make your pupil appear larger than usual. You will noticed blurred vision in this eye for a period of two to four hours and you will notice some mild sensitivity to light while the drops have an effect. You should not drive while you still have dilated pupils. Anaesthetic eyedrops are administered in the eye that is being treated to numb the surface of the eye. You will then rest your chin on the chin rest and head against the bar, similar to the slit lamp instrument that is used to examine the eyes. The surgeon will put a special contact lens on your eye to focus the laser beam to the affected area. The laser light is very bright. You will experience lots of flashing lights and hear the sound of the machine beeping as the laser is delivered. Most people find the treatment relatively comfortable other than the feeling of the lens between their eyelids and the need to stay steady for the treatment. A few people find the laser intermittently uncomfortable. Experienced surgeons like Adnan will communicate with you during the treatment and can adjust the settings of the laser to improve this. If you have only needed one eye treated, you will be able to go home immediately. If both eyes are treated, you will usually be able to go home within 30 minutes.
If you’d like to know more about this treatment, or think that you may benefit from a consultation, please get in touch here.