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Dr. Andrew Rynne
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Is laser treatment effective for diabetic retinopathy?

My mother is a diabetic patient for more than 10 years. Now doctors have said that she's having diabetic retinopathy n suggested her to do laser treatment. If she undergoes that treatment will that problem occur again in any point of time. Is it very complicated treatment.?

Wed, 16 Jul 2014
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Internal Medicine Specialist 's  Response
Thank you for the query.
As per the history, your mother has been diabetic for approximately 10yrs. I would like to know her age and her blood sugar status (FBS, PPBS, HbAic levels).
Poorly controlled long term diabetes is commonly aasociated with microvascular complications like Retinopathy, Neuropathy and Nephropathy. Diabetic retinopathy can be Non-proliferative and Proliferative (when new blood vessel form in the retina which are prone to rupture and bleeding), with or without macular edema.
Laser photocoagulation therapy is a recognised treatment for diabetic retinopathy and helps to preserve vision. Proliferative retinopathy is usually treated with panretinal laser photocoagulation, whereas macular edema is treated with focal laser photocoagulation. Another method is multiple doses of intravitreal injections of Anti-VEGF drugs such as Bevacizumab and Ranibizumab, which prevent the proliferation of blood vessels. Laser is a daycare or OPD procedure wherein the heat from a laser is used to seal or destroy leaking blood vessels in the retina. Laser treatment may cause mild loss of central vision, reduced night vision, and decreased ability to focus (these are inevitable), but prevents one from total blindness which may occur in proliferative DR. Extremely rare complication may be Laser burns (specially in an inexperienced set-up) and retinal detachment. Laser is considered to be a very safe procedure, which requires minimal patient preparation.
It is also recommended that she undergoes a neurological examination to rule out diabetic neuropathy and Urine for ACR (to rule out microalbuminuria/diabetic nephropathy).
Please contact your Ophthalmologist, who can further plan the management.
Hope this helps you out.
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