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Nightmare PRP eye laser surgery - has anyone else had it?

Discussion in 'Type 1 Diabetes' started by Herbie72, Sep 29, 2011.

  1. Herbie72

    Herbie72 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi all,

    I've had type 1 for 28 years and have had retinopathy for a few years. I had to have my first bout of PRP laser treatment on my left eye at the beginning of August. It was a pretty awful experience. I'm not sure what information people are normally given prior to the op, but I received no info at all, so I didn't know what PRP was, why I was having it, what it would do, whether pain-relief would be given, what the side effects would be (both long-term and short-term) etc etc, and so I felt pretty unprepared when the day came. With hindsight, I should've just googled it!

    When I walked into the room to have it done, I noticed that the laser had dust all over it – when was the last time it had been used?!! :shock: The procedure itself was really painful for the 10 minutes or so, the local anaesthetic gel had dripped into my mouth, so my mouth was numb, but not the eye. It just felt like the laser operator was playing Space Invaders with my retina. Apparently he zapped it 27,000 times! :shock: :shock:

    I felt battered and in shock when I walked out and wondered around the hospital trying to find the exit, getting lost and I ended up in the basement! Turns out my sugars had plummeted from 7.5 to 2.5 while I'd been in there, so I'd been having a hypo while all this was going on, hence the disorientation!

    Yesterday, I went for my six-week check-up and they said I need to go back for a second bout next month. Really not looking forward to it. Have been assured that I will get better care next time!

    Is this sort of treatment typical?!! Has anyone on here had a similar nightmare experience, or was mine just an awful exception to the rule? I think hospitals are too blase about these things – they do hundreds of them every year and forget that they are a BIG thing for the patients. Have officially complained, btw, waiting to hear back.
     
  2. Herbie72

    Herbie72 · Well-Known Member

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    Re: Nightmare PRP eye laser surgery - has anyone else had it

    Side-effects so far were (initially) sharp jabbing pains in the eye for a couple of days after, letter box vision for half-hour or so in the morning and a television-style flicker every so often. Just get the odd pain now, six weeks on, but still get flicker.

    Is this normal?
     
  3. sugar2

    sugar2 · Well-Known Member

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    Re: Nightmare PRP eye laser surgery - has anyone else had it

    HI,

    I had laser manyyears ago...and had many bouts in each eye. It was unpleasant, but no more so than having fillings etc...but then, I didn'thave a hypo..that musthave been horrible!

    Yes, the flicker is normal. i lost my sight for a bout a week after each session..evertything was a blur.although my vision came back when teh swelling went down. It is now 16 years later, and I have no pain, or flickering, although it is hard to say whether the flickering has gone, or I have just got used to it. The only noticable things now, is that say, if openingteh fridge door in teh dark, I find it a little disorientating for a second or so. But, personally, I am so so glad that I had the treatmant. A week of losing my vision was enough for me, and it gave me the kick up the bum that I needed to take my diabetes control seriously.

    There was no aftercare as such...it was only becasue I was crying so much becasue I couldn't see that theystopped me just walking out, sat me down and calmed me down..but otherwise, I think they would have just let me walk out..so als, that side of it is not unusual.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  4. Herbie72

    Herbie72 · Well-Known Member

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    Re: Nightmare PRP eye laser surgery - has anyone else had it

    Wow, that sounds terrible. It does sound like they take it all for granted, unfortunately. How are your eyes now, 16 years on? Have you still got background retinopathy or whatever, or has your control sorted it all?
     
  5. sugar2

    sugar2 · Well-Known Member

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    Re: Nightmare PRP eye laser surgery - has anyone else had it

    They are fine...I have just been discharged (after 16 years) from teh hospital clinic, and I am now back on teh annual photograph route, as they could see that my eyes are stable. I believe that the background retinopthay has been sorted by better control. Idon't think I have undone the damege that I did...but I haven't had any more.

    Take care..and if you can, get someone to go with you to the appointment.
     
  6. Herbie72

    Herbie72 · Well-Known Member

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    Re: Nightmare PRP eye laser surgery - has anyone else had it

    Thanks, will do! Hope your eyes stay stable.
     
  7. Fallenstar

    Fallenstar · Well-Known Member

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    Re: Nightmare PRP eye laser surgery - has anyone else had it

    Herbie
    That sound like a nightmare hospital visit and to go through that while having a Hypo which we know heightens and compounds our senses must have been horrendous....Surly they should have kept checking you were OK and they should have been more cautious because of your risk of Hypo.
    Sometimes you do feel like you are just another number/procedure to those doing the treatment, I do wonder how they might be if it was a close relative of theirs ,or they were going for a potentially painful treatment they knew little about....a bit of compassion eh?? :roll:

    I had my screening yesterday and was a little nervous as I have not been for a few years but everything came back all clear ,no background, phew. I know my numbers are not at the ideal all the time, not for the want of trying but so far so good.

    I hope you go on to get the all clear and you have a better experience next time, for warned is for armed next time eh? Make sure they know you had a bad experience last time and hopefully it will be a bit better...Good luck
     
  8. Herbie72

    Herbie72 · Well-Known Member

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    Re: Nightmare PRP eye laser surgery - has anyone else had it

    Thanks, Fallenstar, I do feel better prepared now, thanks! Glad to hear your screening went well.

    Totally agree about the docs being blase about the procedure, although the hypo did exacerbate things massively! My consultant has promised that her 'right-hand-lady' will do the next bout of laser treatment, with a less powerful laser, so I'm trusting that it will be a better experience. She was very apologetic. Will post an update after the next session...
     
  9. Sweet3x

    Sweet3x · Well-Known Member

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    Re: Nightmare PRP eye laser surgery - has anyone else had it

    ouch, that's terrible. I had laser treatment last year. I'm based in France so it's a little different to the UK in how they do things it seems.
    I was given eye drops to take, an hour before the appointment - one set to open the pupil and the other to kill the pain. By the time I got to the hospital, sunshine was a little bright, but I was still able to focus and see where I was going (not well enough to drive but fine for the bus). I went to the department, signed in, had a nurse come to check my eyes, and was given some more drops to continue (my pupils hadn't opened enough). After half hour, I was taken into the treatment room, the doctor (who spoke excellent English I'm glad to say) checked my eyes again, confirmed they were 'ready', and explained what was going to happen, and how. She also said if I felt any pain to immediately let her know - waving my hand, actually saying 'stop' or however I felt happy getting her attention.

    The treatment wasn't pleasant - my eyes hurt for a few hours afterwards, once the pain killing drops had worn off, and since this was the middle of summer, it was uncomfortable to walk in the sunlight without sunglasses. It only lasted a few hours though.

    As soon as I got tired, during the treatment, she noticed, and stopped. I had about 8 sessions, and each session lasted an hour. I have no idea how many 'zaps' I had, but it was a lot. But it was spread out over several weeks. I didn't lose my sight for any period of time. It felt a little uncomfortable straight after, but nothing unbearable.

    She noticed I was going hypo in one session, because she said my eye changed. Did a blood test, and sure enough, I was down to 3.7. She also said she noticed that I'd started to sweat a little. The treatment was stopped, and I was taken out of the treatment room and given a glass of orange juice and some bread. Once bs was back up to normal, the rest of that days treatment was completed, and they made me check my bs before I left to go home. They checked the bs everytime, before I went home, btw.

    I wasn't going private, this was just regular French Health Service. I'm sorry that your experience was so unpleasant, but hopefully it'll be better next time. Maybe ask if they can reduce how long you spend being treated?
     
  10. Herbie72

    Herbie72 · Well-Known Member

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    Re: Nightmare PRP eye laser surgery - has anyone else had it

    Wow, your experience couldn't have been more different to mine, Sweet3x! Sounds like they do give a **** over in France! Your specialist clearly knew her stuff, noticing you were going hypo, allowing you to have a break etc. Great stuff. My treatment was only ten minutes long, so it was very intense, perhaps that was part of the problem!
     
  11. Geri

    Geri Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Re: Nightmare PRP eye laser surgery - has anyone else had it

    Sorry to hear you had a bad time.
    I had lazer treatment when it first came to my area, 1986. I had some sessions which lasted an hour, but, it saved my sight. I lost my sight inbetween the laser treatment sessions for about 18 months but then my sight returned and, although abit worse for wear now, i have been able to see and read etc.
    My retinopathy is stable and when I became pregnant I was told by an older consultant eye surgeon that he hadnt seen blood vessels grow abnormally in anyone who had become stable with their retinopathy condition, which was good news.
    I would bear with it and just be glad that something can now be done to treat and stabalize this diabetic condition.
    Heres winking at you, xxx
     
  12. Unbeliever

    Unbeliever · Well-Known Member

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    Re: Nightmare PRP eye laser surgery - has anyone else had it

    My treatment was only ten minutes long, so it was very intense, perhaps that was part of the problem![/quote]

    I think you hit the nail on the head there Herbie. There is a world of difference between high and low intensity laser.

    I am sorry for your bad experience which was totally avoidable but, as others have said , what matters is that i works for you.

    I just wonder - because of your comment aboiu=ut the dus on the machine etc if they don't use this procedure much in your hospital.?

    Perhaps you could ask if they give injections to dry the fluid in the eye before doing intensive laser treatmen? The reatments do not work as well if there is too much fluid in the eye .

    This has only really been introduced in many hospitals over the las few years .
    I have had a great deal of laser reatnment and unfortunately it hasn't been too successful but none of it has done as much harm as the first laser treatmen I had when there wa too much fluid , my hodspital did not use injections at that time so the reatment did no good but badly scarred my retina and left me with weakness in that eye which is now constantlty sore and sensitive.

    That was with intensive laser reatment but I went on to have further treatment in the same eye and at the same intensity. It was only when the hospital acquired a new surgeon with the skill to perform retinal injecions and o teach others to do so that the situation improved.

    I don't say this o frighten you but so as you might raise the matter wih your onsultant.
    Inense laser is a wo-edged sword.
     
  13. KATY1

    KATY1 · Member

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    Re: Nightmare PRP eye laser surgery - has anyone else had it

    Hello Everyone,
    Could anyone tell me PRP means please. Thanx. (Im hopeless at the abbreviation things). I do have regular lazer but just dont understand whats what in this area.
    Katy 1 x
     
  14. Herbie72

    Herbie72 · Well-Known Member

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    Re: Nightmare PRP eye laser surgery - has anyone else had it

    Hi Katy, It stands for Pan Retinal Photocoagulation. Your question is exactly what I was asking myself when I was told I was having left-eye PRP: what?! :?
     
  15. Herbie72

    Herbie72 · Well-Known Member

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    Re: Nightmare PRP eye laser surgery - has anyone else had it

    Having my second PRP session on Monday morning, and I've been told they'll use a less powerful laser, so fingers crossed it's a better experience than before. Will let you know...
     
  16. Fallenstar

    Fallenstar · Well-Known Member

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    Re: Nightmare PRP eye laser surgery - has anyone else had it

    Herbie :D
    Just want to say all the best for Monday, I hope you have a better time of it this time....good luck mate.
     
  17. Herbie72

    Herbie72 · Well-Known Member

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    Re: Nightmare PRP eye laser surgery - has anyone else had it

    :D Thanks! Will post the (hopefully not too) gory details on Tuesday
     
  18. Unbeliever

    Unbeliever · Well-Known Member

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    Re: Nightmare PRP eye laser surgery - has anyone else had it

    I am sure you will be OK Herbie. There really is nothing like the very intense laser. It is almost a psychedelic experience which leaves you totally disorientated.

    I have very frequent laser treatment and sometimes my vision has cleared before I reach home {apar from the eye drops. After inensive laser I have to go to bed when I get home.
    I am sure they will be very careful after your complaint.
     
  19. Herbie72

    Herbie72 · Well-Known Member

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    Re: Nightmare PRP eye laser surgery - has anyone else had it

    Well, it's been a day since the second bout of laser, and I've got to admit the whole process was MUCH better yesterday.

    I honestly think the bloke doing the previous laser session forgot to apply some of the anaesthetic eye drops, because this time I had two different types of drop (after the usual ones to dilate the pupil) and my eye actually went numb!!!!

    She said I had 1,275 fill-in shots yesterday, as opposed to the 20,000+ last time, so the treatment didn't last as long, and when it did start to get uncomfortable she just stopped and let me have a breather. A much better experience.

    Got my Hba1c this morning, down to 6.9 :D but I have been having too many hypos, so I need to sort those out. Cholestrol is up to 5, so I need to sort that, too. :(
     
  20. Unbeliever

    Unbeliever · Well-Known Member

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    Re: Nightmare PRP eye laser surgery - has anyone else had it

    I have lost track of the number of times I have had laser but never have I had only the dilating drops.

    I am glad it was better for you for whatever reason. Such a pity your first experience had to be so unpleasant.
    A little like mine. My first experience of it . without the "drying " injection and very intense ruined my retina,
     
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