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Find out about the benefits and risks of retinal laser surgery
A laser is a highly focused beam of light. Each form of laser will be made up of a specific wavelength. The intense light energy produced by a retinal laser has a wavelength which is absorbed by the tissue at the back of the eye.
When absorbed by the cells, the light energy is converted to heat and this heating effect can produce several effects within tissues which can be used therapeutically.
Specific conditions which retinal laser surgery may be used to treat include:
Initially, eye drops will be carefully placed in the outer eye to dilate the pupils and to numb the outer eye. Once this has been done an anaesthetic may be administered to the outer eye. A lens is then placed over the eye which helps to enable your clinician to be able to direct the laser more accurately to the exact area of the retina needed.
The laser is then used to carefully perform the intended benefit depending on the need. These may include:
Most retinal laser treatments last between 5-10 minutes
Other possible side effects include:
To minimise the possibility of these risks and if applicable to allow retinal tears or detachments to heal safely you will be instructed to rest from any strenuous activity for a few weeks after the procedure.