Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is a treatment used in age related macular degeneration (particularly a subtype called polypoidal choroidal
vasculopathy) and in chronic central serous chorioretinopathy.
It involves using a drug (verteporfin) given intravenously and activated by laser light. This causes a reaction in the blood vessels under the retina which reduces leakage and destroys abnormal blood vessels.
The advantage of PDT is that it can cause a greater reaction in abnormal vessels than normal vessels, helping to preserve as much vision as possible. This is particularly important when the disease is under the central part of the retina (macula)
On the treatment day, patients will have the vision checked and pupils dilated. There will be scans done to confirm the leakage is still present, and angiography (photography of the retinal blood vessels) will be done. The drug is then slowly given through an intravenous cannula. A laser light is applied for a short period of time
(42-83seconds) to activate the dye inside the eye.
After treatment, patients go home on the same day, and should remain away from sunlight and bright lights for 48 hours (the drug can be activated by sunlight).
A follow up appointment is made up to a few months later, depending on the condition treated.