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Diabetic Retinopathy Eye Surgery - Diagnosis, Surgery & Recovery

Diabetic retinopathy is an eye condition that can cause vision loss and blindness in people who have diabetes. Proper management is essential to prevent the condition from getting worse and causing vision loss. Consult Pristyn Care's eye specialists in India to learn about the treatment options in detail. Book an appointment with our experts today.

Diabetic retinopathy is an eye condition that can cause vision loss and blindness in people who have diabetes. Proper management is essential to prevent ... Read More

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What Is Diabetic Retinopathy?

Diabetic retinopathy is a complication of diabetes that impacts the eyes. It occurs when high blood sugar levels damage the blood vessels in the retina, the light-sensitive tissue present at the back of the eye. In the initial stages, diabetic retinopathy may not cause prominent symptoms. As it progresses, you may experience symptoms such as blurred or patchy vision, floaters (spots or dark strings floating in your field of vision), difficulty seeing at night, eye pain or redness, and, eventually, vision loss.

Regular eye exams are crucial for people with diabetes to detect and manage diabetic retinopathy early. Treatments may include laser therapy, medication, or surgery, depending on the severity of the condition. Good blood sugar control and overall diabetes management can also help reduce the risk of developing diabetic retinopathy.

The risk of developing diabetic retinopathy increases with the duration of diabetes and poor blood sugar control. Increased blood pressure and cholesterol levels can also lead to its progression.

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What Are The Types Of Diabetic Retinopathy?

Diabetic retinopathy can be categorized into two main types based on its severity and advancement:

  1. Non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy (NPDR): This is the early stage of diabetic retinopathy. In NPDR, the blood vessels in the retina become weak and may leak small amounts of blood or fluid into the eye. If this leaking and swelling happens over the macula, it is known as macular edema. If the swelling continues to advance, it can cause the blood vessels to close off entirely, leading to macular ischemia, which will cause irreversible central visual loss that is not treatable and is permanent.
  2. Proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR): This is the advanced stage of diabetic retinopathy. In PDR, new, weak blood vessels develop on the surface of the retina and into the vitreous gel inside the eye. These new vessels are prone to bleeding, which can cloud the vitreous and lead to extreme vision loss. Scar tissue can also form, leading to retinal detachment and potentially complete blindness.

Both types of diabetic retinopathy can impact one or both eyes. It is essential to note that diabetic retinopathy is a progressive medical condition. NPDR can progress to PDR over time, specifically if diabetes is not managed properly. Regular eye exams are important for early detection and management of diabetic retinopathy to prevent severe vision loss.

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How Can Diabetic Retinopathy Be Diagnosed?

Diagnostic tests for diabetic retinopathy are crucial for early detection and monitoring of the condition. Here are some diagnostic tests used by ophthalmologists or optometrists to diagnose diabetic retinopathy:

Early detection through regular eye exams is important for managing diabetic retinopathy effectively. However, the frequency of eye examinations will depend on the stage of diabetes, how well your blood sugar is maintained, and your doctor’s recommendations. If diabetic retinopathy is detected, your eye care provider will determine the suitable treatment plan to prevent or manage vision loss.

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How to prepare for diabetic retinopathy treatment?

Depending on which treatment the eye specialist has suggested, the preparation steps may slightly differ. No specific preparation is required for injections that are given to slow down the progression of diabetic retinopathy. 

Preparation Before Laser Treatment 

  • Ask a family member or friend to accompany you as you won’t be able to drive back home due to blurry vision. 
  • The patient is advised to eat proper food and diabetic medications before the surgery. 
  • Avoid taking blood thinners, including aspirin, ibuprofen, warfarin, etc. 

Preparation before Vitrectomy 

The instructions given to the patient prior to vitrectomy are somewhat similar to laser treatment. Common guidelines are- 

  • Stop taking blood thinners at least one week before the surgery. The doctor will only advise against it if you have an increased risk of blood clots that can cause stroke or heart attacks. 
  • Get your eye tested thoroughly and provide all test reports to the doctor team. 
  • Take your diabetes medications with a small sip of water. 
  • Do not eat or drink anything on the day of surgery. 
  • Avoid wearing makeup and wear loose and comfortable clothes. 

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What Are The Various Treatment Options For Diabetic Retinopathy?

Here’s an overview of both surgical and non-surgical treatment options for diabetic retinopathy:

Surgical Treatment Options

Surgical treatment options for diabetic retinopathy include:

  1. Vitrectomy (vitreoretinal surgery): Vitrectomy is a surgical procedure that involves removing the vitreous gel and any scar tissue that may be pulling on the retina. It is commonly used in cases of severe diabetic retinopathy with substantial bleeding into the vitreous or tractional retinal detachment. It is also used when other non-surgical treatments, such as laser therapy or injections, have not effectively managed the condition. During the procedure, the surgeon creates tiny incisions in the eye to access the vitreous gel. The vitreous gel is extracted, and any scar tissue or blood in the vitreous is also cleared. If an individual requires a vitrectomy in both eyes, a surgeon will only perform surgery on one eye at a time. They will typically schedule surgery for the second eye after recovery from the first procedure.
  2. Laser photocoagulation: Laser photocoagulation is a medical procedure that utilizes a laser beam to treat various eye diseases, including diabetic retinopathy. This treatment seals specific leaking blood vessels in a small area of the retina, usually near the macula. During laser photocoagulation, a focused laser beam is directed into the eye. The laser creates small, controlled burns in the targeted areas of the retina. The laser is commonly applied to the peripheral or outer regions of the retina, particularly targeting areas with abnormal blood vessels or areas where fluid is leaking into the retina. The heat induced by the laser seals the blood vessels, preventing further growth and leakage. In the case of macular edema, diabetic retinopathy laser treatment can help reduce swelling.
  3. Panretinal photocoagulation (PRP): Similar to laser photocoagulation, PRP involves applying laser treatment to the peripheral regions of the retina to lower the growth of abnormal blood vessels in proliferative diabetic retinopathy. The PRP laser treatment prevents abnormal new vessels on the retina and in the drainage system of the eyeball from developing and encourages existing ones to shrink. This makes them less likely to bleed into the jelly in the eyeball (vitreous hemorrhage) or to cause painful pressure within the eye (neovascular glaucoma). During the procedure, the doctor will place a multitude of laser burns across a wide area of the peripheral retina. The burns cause the abnormal blood vessels to shrink and scar. At times, the procedure is broken up into two or three treatment sessions depending on the extent of the disease and the patient’s tolerance for the procedure. 
  4. Eye injections: In some cases of diabetic retinopathy, injections of a medicine called anti-VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor) may be given directly into the eyes to prevent new blood vessels from forming at the back of the eyes. These injections help reduce swelling, control abnormal blood vessel growth, and enhance vision. The main medicines used are ranibizumab (Lucentis) and aflibercept (Eylea). During the procedure, the skin around the eyes is cleaned and covered with a sheet. Small clips are utilized to keep the eyes open, and local anesthetic drops are given to numb the eyes. Then, a very fine needle is guided into the eyeball, and the injection is given. 

Non-surgical Treatment Options

Some of the non-surgical treatment options for diabetic retinopathy include the following:

The choice between surgical and non-surgical treatments depends on several factors, such as the stage of diabetic retinopathy, the presence of macular edema, the severity of symptoms, and the patient’s overall health. An eye specialist will evaluate the person’s condition and advise the most suitable treatment approach. Regular eye exams and early intervention are essential to manage diabetic retinopathy effectively and prevent vision loss.

What Are The Benefits Of Early Treatment Of Diabetic Retinopathy?

Early treatment of diabetic retinopathy offers several important benefits:

Reduced risk of blindness: The ultimate benefit of diabetic retinopathy treatment is reduced risk of blindness. Timely intervention can help prevent diabetic retinopathy from advancing to a stage where vision loss becomes irreversible.

How To Prepare For Diabetic Retinopathy Surgery?

Before undergoing surgery for diabetic retinopathy, it’s important to prepare for the procedure and ensure the best possible result. Here are some pre-operative tips to follow before surgery:

What Are The Common Recovery Tips To Follow After Diabetic Retinopathy Treatment?

Recovery after diabetic retinopathy treatment is essential for the success of the procedure and for preserving your vision. Here are some post-operative tips to follow after diabetic retinopathy treatment:

What Are The Complications Of Diabetic Retinopathy Treatment?

While treatments for diabetic retinopathy can effectively preserve vision and prevent further damage, they can also carry some complications and side effects. It’s important to discuss these risks with your healthcare provider before undergoing any treatment. Here are some complications of diabetic retinopathy treatments:

What Happens If Diabetic Retinopathy Is Left Untreated?

If diabetic retinopathy is left untreated, it can progress and lead to serious complications, including:

What Is The Diabetic Retinopathy Treatment Cost In India?

The diabetic retinopathy treatment cost in India can range from Rs. 20,000 to Rs. 50,000. However, several factors are vital in determining the overall treatment cost in India. Some major factors that determine the cost of diabetic retinopathy treatment include:

FAQs about Diabetic Retinopathy

How long does diabetic retinopathy surgery take?

Typically, surgical treatment of diabetic retinopathy takes around 40 to 60 minutes. The average time is around one hour, depending on how long the anesthesia takes to numb the eyes. The duration may also differ if additional treatment is being performed. 

How much does vitrectomy cost in India?

Diabetic retinopathy surgery or vitrectomy cost in India ranges from Rs. 60,000 to Rs. 80,000 approximately. The cost differs for each patient depending on the severity of the condition and the presence of other conditions. To get an estimate, you can call Pristyn Care and talk to our medical coordinators. 

Does Pristyn Care accept health insurance to cover the cost of diabetic retinopathy treatment?

Yes, Pristyn Care accepts all health insurance policies to cover the cost of diabetic retinopathy treatment. We also accept other modes of payment like cash payment, credit cards, debit cards, or cheques which are convenient for the patients. Our care coordinators assist the patients with the insurance paperwork, claim request, approval process, and payment confirmation. This allows the patients to focus on their health instead of worrying about the payment

What is the success rate of diabetic retinopathy treatment at Pristyn Care?

At Pristyn Care, the success rate of diabetic retinopathy is more than 95%. We have highly experienced ophthalmologists who are well-trained to perform the surgery with precision, thereby improving the success rates. 

Can diabetic retinopathy recur after treatment?

Yes, diabetic retinopathy can recur even after surgical treatment as the underlying cause of the condition cannot be cured. If you fail to manage diabetes even after surgery, the condition can progress again. 

Does Pristyn Care provide post-surgery follow-ups?

Yes, we provide free post-surgery follow-up consultations to all our patients. You only need to contact our medical coordinators and they will schedule your follow-up appointment at your convenience. 

What are the foods to avoid to prevent diabetic retinopathy?

By following a healthy lifestyle and sticking to the recommended diabetic diet, you can maintain healthy eyes and prevent the progression of diabetic retinopathy. It is essential to consult your doctors or nutrition experts regarding the consumption of foods to prevent diabetic retinopathy. Some of the foods that should be avoided include highly processed foods, saturated and trans fats, and excess salt.

What are the stages of diabetic retinopathy?

Diabetic retinopathy stages include mild nonproliferative retinopathy, moderate nonproliferative retinopathy, severe nonproliferative retinopathy, and proliferative retinopathy.


What should I do if I notice any signs of diabetic retinopathy?

If you experience any signs of diabetic retinopathy, it’s important to consult an eye specialist promptly. Early diagnosis and treatment can help preserve your vision.

Can I continue working and driving after diabetic retinopathy treatment?

In many cases, yes. However, the ability to work and drive after treatment depends on individual circumstances, including the severity of your diabetic retinopathy and the effectiveness of the treatment.

Is diabetic retinopathy treatment painful?

Some treatments, like intravitreal injections, may cause mild discomfort or pressure during the procedure. However, pain is usually minimal and temporary. 

How successful is diabetic retinopathy laser treatment?

Laser treatments are highly effective at helping to slow and stop the advancement of later-stage retinopathy, but these treatments are usually not complete after one session. Depending on the severity of your diabetic retinopathy, you may need several laser sessions. Typically, people have between 1 and 3 sessions.

How long does diabetic retinopathy surgery take?

The duration of diabetic retinopathy surgery can vary depending on the specific procedure and the complexity of the case. In many cases, surgical treatment for diabetic retinopathy can take anywhere from 30 minutes to a few hours.

What is the success rate of diabetic retinopathy treatment at Pristyn Care?

The success rate of diabetic retinopathy treatment at Pristyn care can vary depending on the severity of the condition, the type of treatment used, and individual factors of the patient. However, in general, the earlier diabetic retinopathy is detected and treated, the better the chances of preserving vision and preventing further complications. The success rate may be lower in advanced stages of the disease where significant damage to the retina has already occurred.

Can diabetic retinopathy recur after treatment?

Yes, diabetic retinopathy can recur after treatment. Diabetic retinopathy is a chronic condition, and even though treatments can effectively manage it, they may not provide a permanent cure. Recurrence can happen due to high blood sugar levels, underlying diabetes, etc.

How much does a vitrectomy cost in India?

In India, the cost of a vitrectomy starts from Rs. 40,000 and can go up to Rs. 60,000 approximately. However, the exact cost of treatment depends on several factors, such as the type of vitrectomy (pars plana or posterior vitrectomy and anterior vitrectomy), choice of healthcare facility, experience of the surgeon, etc.

What are the questions to ask your healthcare provider regarding diabetic retinopathy treatment?

When speaking with your healthcare provider about diabetic retinopathy, it’s important to ask questions to better understand your condition, treatment options, and overall eye health. Here are some questions you can ask:

  • What stage of diabetic retinopathy am I currently in, and how severe is it?
  • If early signs of diabetic retinopathy are detected, what are the typical treatment options?
  • What are the risks and complications associated with diabetic retinopathy treatment?
  • Are diabetic retinopathy tests painful or uncomfortable? How long will the tests take to complete?
  • How long does it take to recover from diabetic retinopathy laser treatment?
  • How often should I schedule eye examinations to monitor my diabetic retinopathy and overall eye health?

Our Patient Love Us

  • PG

    Padmaja Gautam


    I cannot thank Pristyn Care enough for the outstanding diabetic retinopathy treatment I received. The medical team's expertise and dedication to patient care were evident throughout the entire process. They thoroughly explained the treatment options and patiently addressed all my concerns. The treatment itself was precise and painless, and the nursing staff provided excellent post-treatment care. Pristyn Care's commitment to patient well-being and their seamless services are truly commendable. I am pleased with the successful outcome of the diabetic retinopathy treatment, and I highly recommend Pristyn Care to anyone seeking specialized eye care.

    City : BANGALORE
  • ST

    Santosh Thakur


    Pristyn Care's diabetic retinopathy treatment was a lifeline for me. Their team's knowledge and compassion were reassuring. The treatment itself was seamless, and the results were beyond my expectations. I'm truly indebted to Pristyn Care for restoring my vision

    City : PUNE
  • PR

    Puneet Raina


    I was diagnosed with diabetic retinopathy, and Pristyn Care's ophthalmologists guided me through the treatment journey. Their timely interventions and careful monitoring prevented the condition from worsening. I am thankful for Pristyn Care's eye care expertise.

    City : CHENNAI
  • AJ

    Anil Joshi


    Diabetic retinopathy left me anxious about my eyesight, but Pristyn Care's treatment changed everything. Their specialized care and modern approach ensured my safety. The treatment was effective, and my vision improved significantly. Grateful for Pristyn Care's expertise

    City : HYDERABAD
  • AN

    Anushka Narayan


    Choosing Pristyn Care for my diabetic retinopathy treatment was one of the best decisions I made. The medical team displayed utmost professionalism and empathy, making me feel at ease during the entire treatment journey. They provided personalized care, ensuring the best possible outcome. The treatment procedure was quick and virtually painless, and the post-treatment follow-ups were thorough. Pristyn Care's dedication to patient comfort and their top-notch services are truly commendable. I am delighted with the successful diabetic retinopathy treatment and confidently recommend Pristyn Care for anyone seeking specialized eye care.

    City : DELHI

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