Retinal laser photocoagulation is an in-office procedure used to treat many retinal conditions. The most common use is to seal retinal tears to prevent the development of retinal detachments. Retinal laser photocoagulation can also be used to treat leaking blood vessels in the retina from conditions such as diabetic retinopathy or retinal vein occlusion.
This procedure is performed with topical anesthetic instilled on the eye. A contact lens may or may not be used to focus the laser. During treatment, patients often note flashes of bright light in the eye and may feel occasional discomfort. After the treatment, the vision can have an increase in blurriness for up to 30 minutes post-procedure.
Laser photocoagulation is very safe procedure, but it does have some risks including but not limited to bleeding, loss of vision, eye discomfort, and the need for further treatment.