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Photodynamic Therapy (PDT)


Photodynamic therapy (PDT) was commonly used for treatment of wet age-related macular degeneration before the current era of anti-VEGF medications. Although this treatment is not as beneficial as anti-VEGF treatment for macular degeneration, it is still being used and is effective for treatment of other ocular conditions such as central serous retinopathy, Sturge-Weber syndrome and in some cases of wet macular degeneration.

PDT treatment is a two step process comprised of injection of a sensitizing dye, verteporfin (Visudyne), into a peripheral vein and activation of this medicine by the way of shining a low energy laser light onto the area of interest. Activated verteporfin induces formation of the blood clots in the abnormal blood vessels and stops their further growth.

Photodynamic therapy takes about 20 minutes, is done in the office and requires avoidance of direct sunlight for 3 to 5 days after the procedure. The patient has to wear protective gear such as sunglasses, hat and gloves when outdoors for the above mentioned period of time.

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