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How will I be protected from light during photodynamic therapy for cancer?

For the photodynamic therapy, you will be admitted to the hospital as either an outpatient or inpatient. You will be taken to the operating room by cart. The room is designed to protect you from exposure to bright light. During the treatment you will wear special laser glasses. If you have general anesthesia you will be taken to a special recovery room with dim lighting.

To protect you from bright light while you are in the hospital:
  • You will be in a special room with shades drawn, lights dimmed, and all bright lights turned off. The switches for the overhead lights will be covered so they cannot be turned on.
  • If you are taken by wheelchair to another department for tests or any reason, you will need to wear socks, long pants, long-sleeved robe, gloves, sunglasses, and a broad brimmed hat (or cover your head with a sheet).
  • If you are taken anywhere on a cart, your body will be covered with a blanket. Your face will be protected with a thin sheet loosely placed over your head. There will be plenty of room to breathe. It is best to wear your sunglasses whenever you are out of your room.
  • If your activity is not limited, your nurse will dim the hall lights after visiting hours in the evening so you can have a short walk in the hallway. Let the nurse know before you leave your room and when you return.
  • Your discharge will be arranged for the evening hours. If you must ride in a car during the day, be sure there is no exposed skin.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.