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What is Panretinal Photocoagulation?

Patients with proliferative diabetic retinopathy are best treated with pan-retinal laser photocoagulation (PRP). During PRP, your surgeon will create small burns on your retina to destroy abnormal and leaking blood vessels.

Also called scatter laser photocoagulation, PRP is an out-patient procedure, usually performed under local or topical anesthesia, which numbs only your eye. The procedure usually takes between 30 to 45 minutes per session; however, you may require up to 3 or 4 different sessions with a total of 1000-2000 laser spots (applications). Some patients with PDR may also have vitreous hemorrhage which can prevent the ophthalmologist from performing a laser procedure. Such patients may require prior vitrectomy surgery to clear the hemorrhage. PRP is then performed, either at the time of the vitrectomy or shortly thereafter.

Panretinal photocoagulation can help prevent further worsening of proliferative diabetic retinopathy; however, regular comprehensive eye checkups are very important to keep the disease under control.

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