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Potential side effects of laser surgery for eye cancer

Side effects can occur with any type of treatment for eye cancer, but not everyone has them or experiences them in the same way. Side effects of laser surgery will depend mainly on the:

  • size of the eye tumour being treated
  • location of the eye tumour

Side effects can happen during, immediately after, or a few days or weeks after laser surgery. Most side effects go away after laser surgery is finished. Late side effects can occur months or years after laser surgery. Some side effects may last a long time or be permanent.

Loss of vision

Laser surgery can damage parts of the eye, resulting in blurred or some loss of vision. How much vision is lost will depend on the area being treated. Laser surgery can also destroy cells of the retina causing death (ischemia) to retinal tissue, which will affect vision. Vision loss is often a long-term problem.

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Pain-relieving medications are used if needed. Check with the doctor if pain does not go away or if pain-relieving medications do not relieve the pain. Pain after laser surgery is usually a short-term problem.

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Bleeding is less likely to occur with laser surgery than after eye cancer surgery because heat from the laser seals off the blood vessels. Report heavy bleeding after laser surgery to your doctor or the healthcare team.

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Dr Lisa Barbera Canadian benchmarks for quality of end-of-life care in cancer

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Providing rides to cancer treatment

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For more than 50 years, the Canadian Cancer Society’s transportation program has enabled patients to focus their energy on fighting cancer and not on worrying about how they will get to treatment.

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