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Laser Treatment in Diabetic Retinopathy



Laser therapy or laser photocoagulation is a “gold standard” in the treatment of diabetic retinopathy.

In patients with non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy (LAPD), laser photocoagulation results in improved vision and prevents loss of vision in more than 70-80%. Laser therapy does not always improve vision but is necessary to stop further worsening and complication of diabetic retinopathy. Only certain areas of the retina are processed in this form.

Patients with proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PID) need treatment of the whole retina. This treatment is called PLK (panretin laser coagulation). It stops growth and eliminates neovascularization (new-formed vessels) and reduces the risk of severe vision loss. In severe forms of proliferative diabetic retinopathy with the presence of newly formed vessels throughout the retina and vitreous hemorrhage, laser photocoagulation is not sufficient to stop the process but is done before the vitrectomy to reduce bleeding and complications during the operation.

Treatment is ambulatory and requires 3 to 6 laser sessions of 5 to 15 minutes each. In some patients with intrahepatic bleeding, this procedure is not possible because the laser beam is unable to reach the eyeball.

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