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RE: [IP] questions about laser surgery on eyes

Hi Julie,
I can tell you that I only wish that my first eye specialist had been
aggressive and taken action with my retinopathy.  Then perhaps I wouldn't
have had to go through the hell I did for three years.

I kept on complaining to him that something wasn't right with my vision and
he kept saying he saw a little retinopathy but nothing to worry about yet
when I went to my regular doctor and he checked my eyes w/o dilating them,
he would tell me to get to the eye specialist cause he saw damage to my

To make a long story short, I wound up seeing a different specialist and he
did a dye test and then another one a month later.  AT that point, he showed
me all the mess with my eyes and recommended laser immediately and said it
would take about 7 shots to each eye and that would be that.

It took three years to get my eyes under control with a total of 37 laser
treatments  in both eyes and I've been fine ever since.

What's it like?
	As far as the laser itself, it isn't that bad.  I believe it's the fear
factor of the unknown that is the worst of all...sorry for the
underlining...don't know why my puter is doing this.

	The trick is to make certain that you keep your eyes opened wide and when
he tells you to look up or down or straight ahead to do it and not to blink
which is a natural response.  They put an eye piece over your eye to help
keep it open and so the dr. can see more closely what he is doing.

	It is no fun seeing something flash into your eye but you've already been
through that taking the dye test.

How long was recovery time (esp time away from work)?
	There is no real recovery time except that you really shouldn't pick up
anything or exercise until you get the all clear that your eyes are stable.
Once I bent down to pick up a piece of paper and my eye bled.  Sometimes I
would go home and take tylenol and lay down and wake up with some blood in
my eye.  That was ok cause it was just from the laser and it would
eventually seep back into the eye.

	In the beginning, I had a lot of blurriness in my eyes but that went away
after a time.

	As far as pain goes, a lot of the work done on my eyes was very near my
optic nerve and yes, those were painful, not during the laser but

	The doctor at one time had prescribed drops for my eyes because of an
irritation and I had tried them after each laser after that and it seemed to
soothe my eye.  Don't ask me what it was called as that was a long time ago
thank God!

	I didn't have any shots to numb the eye or drops.  They do dilate the eyes
a lot.  At one point, I asked the doctor if he could numb the eye.  After he
explained that he would have to inject into my face and under my eye I said
forget about it.  I would deal with the pain afterwards taking tylenol.

	I didn't have my eyes done all at once.  You have to remember that each
shot of laser they send, sends off lots of little shots something like 500
hits.  I really don't recall.

Your doctor most probably will aim for the areas where there is leakage and
try to sever those false capillaries.  My doctor shot here and there.

My suggestion to you is if you feel uncomfortable with what this doctor is
telling you, is to get the film and bring it to a retina specialist and ask
for a second opinion.

Like I said before, each doctor has their own practices and I wish the first
one was more aggressive with me.

Lots of good luck to you in your decision and with the lasers and let me
know how it goes...

If I can be of further help, just give a holler.

Kathy Bruckmeyer
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