Photodynamic Therapy (PDT)

PDT is a “cold laser” in which targeted laser treatment selectively treats damaged retinal blood vessels. First, a photosensitizing agent called verteporfin (VISUDYNE®) is injected through an IV line. A laser is then focused on the area of pathology within the eye to activate the verteporfin, usually sealing leaking or bleeding blood vessels. This procedure was commonplace to treat wet age-related macular degeneration,but it has now for the most part been overtaken by intravitreal injections. However, PDT may still be used for select, severe, or recalcitrant cases of macular degeneration or for select cases of central serous chorioretinopathy. Because verteporfin is activated by light, after the laser patients must remain out of the sunlight for several days to avoid severe skin sunburning. Full post-laser instructions will be discussed with you if PDT therapy is planned.