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Laser retinopexy is a localized laser treatment performed around a retinal tear. When there is a tear in the retina, fluid from the vitreous cavity of the eye can enter through the tear and collect between the retina and the eye wall. When this happens, the fluid behind the retina causes a retinal detachment. To prevent a retinal tear from turning into a retinal detachment, laser retinopexy is performed. The laser creates numerous small scars around the torn area of the retina to "spot weld" the retina to the eye wall. This treatment decreases the chance of fluid entering through the tear.
Before your procedure, the doctor will perform a dilated retina examination. Then, you will be seated comfortably in the procedure room and anesthetic eye drops will be placed in your eye. The laser may be performed either with you sitting upright at the slitlamp or with you reclining. A typical laser retinopexy is performed in 5 to 10 minutes and the experience is similar to a dilated eye examination. Larger tears or tears that are associated with bleeding inside the eye may require more time to treat. You will notice bright lights and may feel a slight stinging or aching sensation. Immediately after the laser, your vision out of the treated eye will be dim and hazy for about 5 minutes. Then it will return to your pre-treatment level of vision. You will not need to wear a patch after the laser. If you experience a slight headache after your procedure, that can be normal and you may take Tylenol for it.
Your doctor will discuss all of the above with you and review additional information and precautions before and after your treatment. Our goal is to have all of your questions answered, so please feel free to ask our doctors and staff about any questions or concerns you may have.