Photodynamic Therapy

Photodynamic Therapy

This is an outpatient procedure involving the use of a special light-activated drug—is used to treat some patients with wet AMD and chronic central serous retinopathy (CSR). The benefit of PDT is that it inhibits abnormal blood vessel leakage limiting damage to the overlying retina. With PDT, the inactive form of the drug is usually injected into a vein in the arm, where it travels to and accumulates in abnormal blood vessels under the center of the macula. A special low-intensity laser light targeted at the retina activates the drug only in the affected area, damaging the abnormal blood vessels under the retina and leaving normal blood vessels intact.

Patients who are treated with PDT will become temporarily extra sensitive to bright light (photosensitive). Care should be taken to avoid exposure of the skin or eyes to direct sunlight or bright indoor light for several days.

PDT therapy is not effective for treatment of atrophic or “dry” AMD, which is caused by aging and thinning of the tissues of the macula. Although photodynamic therapy can preserve vision for many people, it may not stop vision loss in all patients. The abnormal blood vessels may regrow or begin to leak again. We reserve the use of PDT in only select cases that do not respond to current treatments which involve the use of anti-VEGF agents.

Our COVID-19 advisory

We have always prioritized the safety of our patients, and in these uncertain times, this is no different. That’s why we are practicing and enforcing best practices for social distancing and self-isolation in the midst of COVID-19.