During the first three stages of diabetic retinopathy, no treatment is necessary. Of course, diabetics should continue to monitor and control their blood sugar, blood pressure, cholesterol, and general health.
Proliferative retinopathy can be treated with laser surgery. The procedure, called scatter laser treatment, aims at shrinking the abnormal blood vessels that developed beneath the retina. In this procedure, 1,000 to 2,000 pulses or beams of laser energy at focused at selected spots on the retina away from the macula. This procedure is often performed in more than one session. Scatter laser treatment, while preserving remaining sight, may reduce night and peripheral vision.
Macular edema is treated with a different laser treatment, called focal laser treatment. This treatment aims several hundred pulses or beams of laser energy in the areas of retinal leakage around the macula, slowing the rate of leakage and reducing the amount of fluid in the retina.
Another treatment, called a vitrectomy, may be necessary to remove blood that has accumulated in the center of the eye (vitreous), creating blurred or clouded vision.
Should you need surgery to treat diabetic retinopathy, our staff of highly trained and experienced retinal specialists will explain these procedures in detail. You will know what to expect and the outcome that will result.