Photodynamic therapy is a specialized treatment for the wet form of age-related macular degeneration (wet AMD)and for central serous chorioretinopathy. This treatment helps limit the growth of abnormal blood vessels under the macula that may be causing bleeding and leakage of fluids into the vitreous cavity of the eye.
Photodynamic therapy will not cure patients of wet age-related macular degeneration or restore damage to vision that has already occurred, but it will help prevent further vision loss and damage to the retina. Photodynamic therapy is a component of managing this retinal condition and preventing cases from becoming more severe. Patients may need to undergo multiple treatments in order to get the full benefits of photodynamic therapy.
Photodynamic therapy is an effective treatment for central serous chorioretinopathy. Often, one treatment is enough to cause resolution of the fluid under the macula.
During this treatment, a light-sensitive drug is injected into the patient’s bloodstream. This drug collects harmlessly inside of the abnormal blood vessels under the macula.Next, a laser is used on the eye, which activates the light-sensitive drug and causes it to close the abnormal blood vessels. This helps to slow the build-up of fluid under the retina, the growth of scar tissue, and helps prevent further vision loss.
Photodynamic therapy is performed on an outpatient basis and takes approximately 60 to 90 minutes to complete. Afterwards, patients are free to return home. It is important that someone accompany the patient receiving photodynamic therapy to ensure that they can get home safely after treatment.
Recovery after Photodynamic Therapy
After undergoing photodynamic therapy, patients will experience an increased sensitivity to light. It is recommended that patients avoid going outside or spending time in bright-lighting conditions for 3 days after undergoing photodynamic therapy. During this time, skin is prone to becoming sun burned.