I'm new here. And I have PDR. Really excited to find a place to ask questions!

First, hello all!

I'm long term type-1 (43+ years). Vision was fine for the first 38 years but the last 4, not so much. Left eye got way worse in '09 -Big vessel sprouted off my optic nerve into the vitreous like a sea fan. Treated with 2 checkerboard zappings of green laser a year apart to my peripheral vision (taking pretty much all of it out). This failed to stop the vessel growth.

Then a year and a half ago I had my first big bleed, blinding that eye. I should have had a vitrectomy right away but we couldn't afford it. 10 months and a couple bleed-then-clear cycles later I had the vitrectomy. During the surgery my doc also zapped said vessel off my optic nerve. Two cataract surgeries followed, and now, finally the eye is calm. It doesn't see very well, but enough to allow depth perception. My right eye is my good eye and it's great to be able to see with both again.

So a couple weeks ago I went back for a check up. My doc said now my good eye is needing laser - little bleeds here and there and macular edema. He wants to hit my peripheral vision a month after a session of the all-over lighter zapping, now scheduled for Feb. 10th. Then maybe a vitrectomy. I'm kind of freaking out about this because if this eye comes out as weak as the left one did, I won't be able to read or drive anymore.

I've read some of other people's experiences here, and most feel their vitrectomy helped greatly - my experience as well. Some, like me, found that repeated laser didn't work.

My question is, has anyone had a vitrectomy first, before laser? In other words are there doctors/patients who get results from vitrectomy alone? I hate to lose my peripheral vision, have that loss not solve it, then end up with a vitrectomy anyway.

If anyone has ideas or stories to share about such things I thank you from my heart. Scary stuff, this retinopathy!


Hi Linda,
My name is Linda too (must be a 1950's thing (smile)! I've been diabetic for 50 years and recently had cataract surgery in both eyes. Haven't had any laser work other than to repair a retinal tear after the catract surgery. I see you're from ID. I was just up there last summer to see a long lost old friend who lives in Coeur d'Alene. I love it up there! I hope someone has an answer for you here. I know how you feel about your vision. Its constantly on my mind. Anyway, welcome here.

Thanks so much, Linda! Yes Coeur d'Alene is lovely - We're about 70 miles north of there and it gets progressively more gorgeous with each mile. Definitely need my eyes!
I was impressed with the cataract surgeries - how they brought back colors I didn't know I had lost. Deep blues and purples! I see you are from San Diego area - I lived in Solana Beach back in the '70s, worked at Scripps - research branch. I loved the ocean there.

Again, thanks for the welcome.

I've lived here in San Diego county since 1980. I work at Children's Hospital San Diego (not a nurse). My husband and I had considered the Sandpoint area in ID but being a native CA I'm not sure we could put up with all that snow. It sure is beautiful though! Last summer my friend and I went huckleberry picking. A real treat!!!

Hi Linda

Retinopathy is not an easy thing. I also had laser before my vitrectomy. As I can understand it, they only perform a Vitrectomy when your retina has detached, or the blood is not draining from your eyes or to remove scar tissue. That's why they do the laser first. To prevent any more blood seeping into your eyes, by lasering the damaged vessels. I still can't see after my vitrectomy, but it's because my retina is badly damaged. I still have hope that I will regain sight. My doctor said it can take up to 18 months for final vision prognosis.
Good luck, and all the best!

Hi Vikki.

Nope, not easy. Retinopathy is scary! I am so sorry you must wait so long for results. And I greatly hope you get enough vision back for depth perception, if not full vision. Thanks for sharing your info. I've sent an email to my eye doc, hoping he will want to try a not-yet-standard treatment that might allow me to keep my peripheral vision in my right eye. If not oh well. On it goes.

All the best,


I have PDR, and have had serious laser treatments, and ocular injections. Things are going very well. However, I have to go in from time to time for tune ups! I see a specialist called a vitreoretinologist at The Midwest Eye Institute in Indiana. His name is Raj Maturi, and is THE nicest doctor that I have ever met. He really knows his stuff. People from all over this region come to see him. He has saved my sight, and I cannot thank him enough for that. I wish you the best of luck. Are you on a pump? That will make a world of difference with your eyes!

Good luck, and big hugs to you!

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