Laser surgery is used in the treatment of diabetic retinopathy to reduce abnormal blood vessels and prevent new ones from forming. Treatment is usually performed under a local anaesthetic, usually over several sessions. The laser makes tiny burns that destroy parts of the retina, which causes the abnormal blood vessels to regress and prevents new abnormal vessels from developing. Some vision may be lost, but blindness is prevented.
From the 2010 revision of the Complete Home Medical Guide © Dorling Kindersley Limited.