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Re: [IP] Pain with laser surgery
I've had numerous lasers - maybe 4 or 5 in each eye - most about 1000-1500
hits each. Some I have had with the novocaine shot and others not. My
retinal specialist said that certain areas of the retina are more sensitive
to pain than others and I think he makes the decisio based on where the
laser is going to be. The times I haven't had novocaine, there were some
areas that were completely pain free and others that were pretty
uncomfortable (felt to me like someone pressing hard on my retina with a
pencil). The novocaine shot is certainly not the most pleasant thing to
do, but for me it was mostly the idea of it that grossed me out - it really
wasn't that painful - just pressure. When they give me novocaine shots,
they kind of press through my eyelid to lift my eyeball up in the socket a
bit, and they ease the needle through the eyelid and into what I think is
into the back of the orbit. the only side effect I know of from the
novocaine is that it also "paralyzes" your eye, and they give you a patch
afterwards so you won't have double vision (from that eye not focusing
right). But for me that was only overnight and then the novocaine wore off.
I've had three lasers during pregnancies and they even gave me novocaine
shots while I was pregnant.
Also, my brother has diabetes and he's also had a number of lasers. He used
to always get the novocaine shot but he was so grossed out by the
novocaine shots and they were such a stumbling block for him that he
finally asked if he could try the laser without the shots. They did it, and
he is mUCH happier with the lasers he's had since then - he says he
definitely prefers to do it without the novocaine shot.
A final note to those who haven't had laser before - some people are
posting about how painful it was...for me, it was not a painful or
miserable experience. I was eXTREMELY nervous my first time, and found
myself very pleasantly surprised at how "easy" it was. I am pretty
tolerant of pain - both my pregnancies I delivered without pain meds and
didn't feel too miserable either.
Oh, one other thing. They do laser for macular edema, which is a form of
background retinopathy and not proliferative retinopathy. For macular edema
they do a focal laser, which is far fewer laser burns, and they are focused
on a particular area where the leakage of fluid is. I've had a few of these
and he's never recomended novocaine for these surgeries, since it's a much
more focused surgery. For proliferative retinopathy, they generally do
pan-retinal laser burns - which is a lot of burns - like over 1000. In my
experience they are more likely to use the novocaine when they are going to
do lots of burns, but I have had pan-retinal without novocaine.
And P.S. I have never heard of the saline injection in the eye to absorb
the heat, nor have they done that in any of my lasers, so certainly not
everyone who has laser has to have that.
betsy, going i for a laser next week as a matter of fact - at 29 weeks
Betsy, age 34, Type 1 27 years, Disetronic 6 yrs, on third pregnancy with
pump and due in June.
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