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Re: [IPk] Re: development of retinopathy

Hi Pat, Lesley etc.

> Laser treatment isn't all that painful!  It is like having a flash gun
> go off in front of your face - and again - and again - and again.  A wee
> bit uncomfortable, sometimes, while it actually flashes - but wearying
> and headache-making.  Certainly, compared to earache (which I have
> _again_, it's nothing!)
> The painkiller and paralizer injections are used for an advanced kind of
> laser work, where, rather than sitting up and being told to 'look to
> your left', etc., you are lying down, and the surgeon is working with a
> headset, pushing your eyeball with his fingers until it's exactly where
> he wants it.

This isn't quite accurate - they *sometimes* do the advanced laser treatment  
lying down with a headset, but they don't have to. I've had it done once that 
way and about 30 times the normal way - all with the anaesthetic injections.
It depends on their personal preference.

The first kind of laser treatment mostly doesn't hurt, though it *can* do 
when you've had a lot of it done (over a number of occasions) and if they hit 
a sensitive bit. But generally you don't need any anaesthetic for it.

The second kind - which is where instead of zapping the leaky blood vessels, 
they actually zap bits of the retina to increase the percentage of oxygen 
getting to the eye and therefore try to prevent new blood vessels forming in 
the wrong place (which is bad because they're fragile and break and cause 
bleeding) - is again not usually painful to start with but when you've had a 
lot (of either type of laser) it can start to get painful - from the mildly 
sensitive to the "can't possibly have it without anaesthetic". Some 
consultants prefer to do this with a headset while you're lying down, some do 
it in the normal way.

Hope that helps clear things up a bit.
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