What is Photodynamic Therapy?
PDT is an office-based procedure where a special light-activated dye (V isudyne) is used to help seal up abnormal blood vessels. In this procedure, the dye is first injected into a vein in the arm. The dye circulates throughout the body and selectively accumulates around the areas of abnormal blood vessels in the eye. A non-thermal or “cold” laser is then directed at the abnormal blood vessels in the eye for approximately 90 seconds. The laser activates the dye, which destroys the abnormal blood vessels and spares the normal retina and normal blood vessels.
Which retinal diseases are treated with PDT?
Wet Macular Degeneration and Central Serous Chorioretinopathy are the most common conditions treated with PDT. It can also be used in patients with Ocular Histoplasmosis Syndrome and myopic degeneration or any condition where abnormal choroidal blood vessels develop.
Does PDT hurt?
PDT does not hurt. A special contact lens will be placed on your eye to hold your lids apart and focus the ‘cold’ laser. Your eye may feel scratchy for a few hours after the PDT treatment, but there should be no pain.
How should I prepare for PDT?
• Because your eye(s) will be dilated, someone should accompany you.
• Take your eye drops and all medications as usual.
• Bring a dark pair of sunglasses, long pants, long-sleeved shirt and a wide brimmed hat to wear after your treatment.
What precautions are needed with PDT?
The light-activated dye (Visudyne) can circulate through your body for up to 5 days after the PDT. Any intense light that you are exposed to during this 5-day period could result in a severe sunburn. Care should be taken to avoid exposure of the skin and eyes to direct sunlight or bright indoor lights. Dark sunglasses and long sleeved shirts should be worn when you need to go outside. “Bright lights” include but are not limited to:
• Direct sunlight
• Tanning salons
• Halogen lighting in homes and offices
• Lighting used in a dental office or surgical operating room
What will I experience after PDT?
You may experience a temporary change in your vision after treatment, typically noted as blurriness or a spot in the central vision area. This usually resolves within 1-2 weeks. Some people will see tiny points of sparkling light in their vision for the first few days after PDT. If you are concerned about a significant change in your vision, please contact us.