Diabetic Retinopathy Treatment Portland, Maine

By Aaron Parnes, M.D.

The Eyecare Medical Group Vitreoretinal Surgeons and Retina Specialists are experienced in all types of treatment for diabetic retinopathy. Depending on the stage of diabetic retinopathy, the potential for and the amount of vision loss, it is possible to treat, stabilize and often reverse the effects of the disease. Treatment of diabetic retinopathy can entail the use retinal laser photocoagulation treatment as well as intravitreal injections of Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF) Inhibitor drugs or other drugs.  However, successful management of diabetic eye problems requires early diagnosis and treatment.

Treatment of Diabetic Retinopathy

The National Institutes of Health and the National Eye Institute have funded a number of large scale, multi-center, controlled studies that have produced clinical care guidelines for Diabetic Retinopathy used by our physicians.
These include:

We use the results of these studies to guide patients in the treatment of diabetic retinopathy since with early treatment it is possible for patients with Diabetic Retinopathy to have only half the likelihood of losing vision as compared to those patients who fail to receive early treatment.

View Video

Diabetic Laser Treatment

Nonproliferative Retinopathy & Laser Treatment
During the early stages of Mild Nonproliferative Retinopathy, Moderate Nonproliferative Retinopathy and the beginning of Severe Nonproliferative Retinopathy, it is not likely that you will need Laser Treatment, unless you have Diabetic Macular Edema.

Proliferative Retinopathy & Laser Treatment
Diabetic Retinopathy Laser Treatment Proliferative Retinopathy is treated with a Retinal Laser Photocoagulation procedure called “Scatter Laser Treatment” or “Pan Retinal Photocoagulation”. The goal of Scatter Laser Treatment is to shrink abnormal blood vessels. Your doctor will place approximately 1,000 to 2,000 laser spots in areas of the retina away from the macula, causing the abnormal blood vessels to shrink. Since Scatter Laser Treatment requires a large number of laser spots, it is often necessary to use two or more sessions to complete the laser treatment.

Sometimes patients who have had Scatter Laser Photocoagulation will experience some loss of their side or peripheral vision, some loss of night vision and a decrease in color vision. However, Scatter Laser Treatment is necessary to preserve the rest of your vision and stop the progression of the disease. Sometimes Scatter Laser Photocoagulation might be used in combination with intravitreal injections of Vascular Endothelial Growth (VEGF) Inhibitor such as Lucentis®, Avastin® or Eylea® Injections. View VEGF Procedure

Vitrectomy for Vitreous HemorrhageWhen Scatter Laser Treatment with or without Vascular Endothelial Growth (VEGF) Inhibitors  is unsuccessful in stopping the progression of the proliferative retinopathy and when a vitreous hemorrhage occurs and does not clear on its own, or when a retinal detachment develops, then a vitrectomy is often helpful. A vitrectomy involves inserting instruments into the eye, and removing the vitreous gel, any blood present in the vitreous cavity, and removing the scar tissue that has grown on the surface of the retina.


Diabetic Macular Edema & Laser Treatment
Diabetic Macular Edema is best treated with one of two types of Retinal Laser Photocoagulation procedures called Focal Laser Treatment and Grid Laser Treatment. Focal Laser treatment is used to close leaking micro aneurysms in a limited area and Grid Laser treatment is used to treat a more diffuse swelling in the macula. With either type of Laser Treatment for Macular Edema, your doctor will place laser spots in the areas of retinal leakage surrounding the macula. These spots act to slow the leakage of fluid and reduce the amount of fluid in the retina. It is usually possible to complete these Laser Treatments in one session, however depending on the results additional treatment may be necessary. You may need to have Laser Treatment for Macular Edema more than once to control the leaking fluid. If you have Macular Edema in both eyes and require laser surgery, generally only one eye will be treated at a time. Laser treatment of Diabetic Macular Edema works to stabilize vision. In fact, Laser Treatment may reduce the risk of vision loss by 50 percent. In most cases, early laser treatment and/or intravitreal injections of Vascular Endothelial Growth (VEGF) Inhibitor such as Lucentis, Avastin or Eylea Injections will reduce the swelling and prevent further vision loss, but may not restore vision that has already been compromised. In a small number of cases, if vision is lost, it may be improved. It is important to restate that this treatment is performed to keep vision form further declining, but does not usually result in improvement in vision already lost. This is why it is so crucial to have regular eye examinations as the goal is to diagnose vision-threatening disease before vision is compromised.

If you have been diagnosed with diabetes or even if you are just glucose intolerant, you may be at risk for diabetic retinopathy and you should have a thorough diabetic eye examination at Eyecare Medical Group in Portland, Maine. Please call us at 888-374-2020.

Eyecare Medical Group provides diagnosis and treatment of diabetic retinopathy in Maine and is conveniently located for patients from Auburn, Augusta, Bangor, Bath, Berwick, Biddeford, Bridgton, Brunswick, Cape Neddick, Casco Bay, Cumberland Center, Eliot, Freeport, Gardiner, Kennebunk, Kennebunkport, Kittery, Lewiston, Old Orchard Beach, Portland, Sanford, Scarborough, South Portland, Springvale, Topsham, Waterville, Westbrook, Winslow, Wiscasset, Yarmouth, Portland, Skowhegan and York Maine.

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