Laser treatments for diabetic eye disorders generally target areas of diabetic damage. Some treat leaking blood vessels directly by spot sealing the area of leakage. Lasers also may be used to treat areas of weak blood supply in the periphery of the retina.
The two types of laser treatments most commonly used to treat diabetic eye disorders are:
Focal or Grid Laser Photocoagulation: In this type of surgery, the laser is focused directly on the leaky blood vessels and area of swelling in the retina. This procedure is usually completed in one session, but if both eyes need treatment, two separate sessions will be scheduled. Prior to Laser, a fluorescein angiogram is performed. This is a dye test that outlines the areas of leaky blood vessels and guides the Laser treatment.
Scatter (panretinal) Laser Photocoagulation: This method applies laser spots to the periphery of the retina in the area of weak blood supply. The Laser helps reduce the growth of abnormal blood vessels and stabilize the diabetic changes.
Laser treatment for diabetic retinopathy does not improve vision, but is designed to prevent further vision loss. Even people with 20/20 vision who meet treatment guidelines should consider laser therapy as a means of protecting themselves from future diabetes-related vision loss.
Surgical Treatment: There are times surgical treatment is required for diabetic retinopathy. The doctors at CHRISTUS Trinity Clinic - DeHaven can assist in evaluating the treatment options should surgery become necessary.