Laser Therapy for Retinal Tears
Laser may be used to seal a retinal tear in the back half of the eye. This treatment takes about 15-30 minutes. Vision is checked, and the eye that is to be treated is dilated. Drops are used to numb the front of the eye. The doctor then uses a laser to treat the area around the tear. This is done from either a device he wears on his head or through a machine on which you place your chin. A flash of light occurs as each laser burn is placed to seal the retina around the tear. Up to 250 burns are placed on the retina. This depends on the size of the tear. During the laser treatment, some of the burns may cause pain, but most patients say the pain is mild. Tell the doctor if the pain is more than mild. The doctor can give a shot that numbs the eye.
After the treatment, ask your doctor if there are any physical restrictions. There may be some mild pain or aching, like a headache. You can use Tylenol®, 2 tablets every 4 hours, if needed. For the next few days, your vision may be blurred, and you may feel like you are seeing lights.
If you have any concerns or other changes in vision, please call the clinic at
(608) 263-7171. After clinic hours this number is transferred to the paging operator. Ask for the Eye Resident on call. Give the operator your name and phone number with the area code. The doctor will call you back.
The information provided should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
Last Updated: 12/08/2009
Copyright © 12/08/2009 University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#5097
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