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Avatar universal

Does retinal tear surgery have to be painful?

I recently had laser surgery for three retinal tears, then, three weeks later when I returned for a checkup, had more surgery when my opthamologist found a fourth tear.  Both surgeries were quite painful and both were performed without any kind of anesthesia.  Is this standard procedure?

This discussion is related to Eyes: Laser correction for Retinal Tear - Post Op Limitiations.
48 Responses
203589 tn?1267478770
For an in-office laser procedure your eye should have been numbed with drops prior to the actual procedure.
203589 tn?1267478770
Should also note, that if you experience any discomfort during the procedure you should tell the doctor and s/he will administer something stronger. Some people are more sensitive to the laser light than others and if the area is extensive or the laser power is increased then the discomfort may be worse. Also, try taking tylenol before the procedure or shortly afterwords.
233488 tn?1310696703
Avatar universal
Since aspirin is a blood thiner, is it a good idea to take those in case there could be a hemorrhage from the tear?
740516 tn?1360946086
Are you talking about photocoagulation? It was not painful at the first time I did and just a little at the second! And doct gaves me nothing...
I  guess I do have high limiar to pain - fortunatelly! :-)
203589 tn?1267478770
Talk to your doctor about the aspirin.
Some research concludes that aspirin doesn't increase the likelihood of hemorrhage or increase its severity. However, many doctors still use caution (because in some case studies it has exacerbated hemorrhages) and tell you to avoid aspirin if it is not necessary for any other medical reasons. Ophthalmologists generally tell you to take acetaminophen (aka Tylenol) instead of aspirin for pain.
Avatar universal
Thanks for your suggestions. I just had laser surgery to correct a retinal tear and it was the most disturbing and painful procedure I have had done in my 50 years. I typically have no problem dealing with pain, but between the painful bright lights and the pressure of the contact, I thought I was going to lose it. I have very light blue eyes which are extremely sensitive to light and this was an extensive procedure.  I will most certainly ask for something stronger than "numbing drops" for any retinal surgery in the future. I don't understand why all the information says that this procedure is practically "painless". Painless was not my experience!
I had the same results as you described.
Me too, really hurt.  When he finished I asked if it was supposed to hurt and he said yes.  I had 160 pulses, thought I was going to pass out.
Avatar universal
I also found it painful, but realistically, not as painful as other things. My doc had to go back and touch up a little after a vitrectomy/buckle. It didn't take long .. maybe 15 minutes once we got going, with all the moving around and such .. certainly the laser wasn't on for that long. It was definitely uncomfortable though! It kinda felt like somebody was rubbing the inside bone (?) of my eye socket with a rock... closest analogy I can come up with.

The only good side -- not being put under and having to deal with the risks of anesthesia, and the nasty coming out from going under! I would have liked a better painkiller for the headache after though.

I also had LASIK without all the numbing stuff years ago (1994) .. and that was more painful.
Avatar universal
Just had laser surgery to repair a small retinal tear two days ago. The first 40% of the procedure was tolerable, just slight discomfort. It turns out that my tear was near "a nerve". When that laser got near the nerve the pain was almost unbearable. The last 4 minutes of the procedure was done in short spurts: 10 seconds on, then 30 seconds off while I recovered from the pain. After the proceduire was done, I passed out in the chair! Yeah, a little anesthetic would have been nice.
Avatar universal
  I had multiple procedures for 2 years some the the tears were called horseshoe tears and required a larger  size treatment - I was warned of the discomfort and all the procedures went according to the degree of laser needed and the Doc was very engaged, and had little discomfort overall.  I will say that for me the sensitivity to light got increasingly worse after with each procedure as well as more difficult during . Thankfully I haven't had a new hole or tear since 2006  however I need partially sealed and shaded glasses for the light and dry eye issues- If you have these types of discomfort after ( dry eye and light sensitive )  you need not suffer there are types of glasses and lenses that make it very tolerable.  communicate with the eye doc and if they are not helping or understanding find another I think all are equally talented just some seem insensitive .
Avatar universal
I just had the laser treatment yesterday for three horse tears...everything happened so fast! I was also surprised by the pressure and pain  that I experienced.  during the procedure!  Was not expecting that at all. I about crawled out of my skin!  Not looking forward to any more treatments if that occurs!  Also, how long before my vision "clears"  and will that occur? or will I still have floaters and a million tiny black specks with a cloudiness still persist?
Avatar universal
horseshoe tears..
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