Laser retinopexy

Monday morning, I saw a sudden influx of floaters at my left eye. My previous experience of retina detachment on my right eye immediately prompted me that I was in an emergency. Without hesitating, I called my doctor for his advice. He told me to lie down and not to move around so that the condition would not progress too fast. It was late morning and was too late to go to his clinic in Kuala Lumpur. His clinic closes at 1PM.

I quickly returned home and told LA about my condition. We decided not to wait until the next day so she quickly contacted some people and got an appointment with a consultant eye surgeon in the town.

She sent me to the clinic and then went to pick up Dmitry with grandma. While she settled down with the kids at home, I waited for examination.

After a thorough examination, the doctor told me that I had weak retina and the gel in my eye was liquefying and it was going to tear my retina. No tear had occurred yet but impending. He suggested laser retinopexy to seal off those weak areas to prevent tearing.

Laser retinopexy is a procedure using short pulses of green Argon laser to make tiny burns on the retina. It is like stitching the retina to the wall. I hate this part. To perform the procedure, the eye has to be dilated first. Then, the doctor will apply gel onto a ring and attach it to my eyeball. I have to set my head and chin steadily onto the apparatus. The doctor will manipulate the ring so he can look into my eye and to search for the area to be treated. Laser will be targeted and fired in short pulses. Some discomfort can be felt when the laser power is too high or at sensitive areas.

This time I did rather well although my whole body froze as stiff as a wooden log. I managed to relax by taking deep breath and talking to the doctor, but still, I let out “Ouch!” occasionally. The entire procedure took less than 20 minutes and I received over 600 laser stitches, according to my doctor.

The doctor advised against strenuous activities at least for a week until the doctor examine my condition again next Monday.

My previous research indicates that retina detachment may occur when the head is traumatized or with high-powered myopia and aging. But how does this actually happen? I have done another research and the finding is very interesting. Of course, this is also partly due to my high-powered myopia.

The gel in the eye is called vitreous humor. The collagen fibers of the vitreous are held apart by electrical charges. The collagen fibers clump together when electrical charges decrease during aging. The gel will also liquefy when the electrical charges decrease. A condition called syneresis (in chemistry, the extraction or expulsion of liquid from gel) occurred, allowing cells and other organic cluster to float freely within the vitreous humor. These floaters are perceived as spots or fibrous strands in the vision. Floaters are generally harmless. A sudden onset of recurring floaters may signify a posterior vitreous detachment (PVD) or other diseases of the eye. A doctor specialized in this area is called vitreo-retina specialist.

My previous experience was due to ignorant. I hope my posts will give you an idea so at least when you see sudden onset of floaters in your vision, you can seek immediate medical attention to save your eyes.

2 Responses to "Laser retinopexy"

  1. Gail
    Gail 2 years ago .

    Thank you for this post, I am facing this laser surgery for a tear in my retina you post .elped me understand more .Thank you again please update me with more information God BlessYou and your family Love in Jesus

  2. Adrian Hoe

    Gail,

    Good luck with your procedure. Get well soon.

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