What types of conditions will benefit from Intravitreal Injections?
Intravitreal injections are used to deliver drugs to the retina and other structures in the back of the eye. Common conditions treated with intravitreal injections include macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, retinal vascular diseases and ocular inflammation.
What does the procedure involve?
Once your pupils are dilated, the actual procedure takes around 15 minutes. We will lie you in a comfortable position and anaesthetic drops will be placed in your eye. Your eye and eyelids will also be cleaned with an iodine antiseptic solution. The eye is then held open with an instrument (speculum) and the medicine is injected into your vitreous. You may feel slight pressure on the eye when this is done, but you should not experience pain. After the injection procedure the doctor will check your eye. There is no post operative drops or ointment to be used.
After the injection into your eye you may have a gritty feeling in the eye. You might see floaters; these will become smaller and disappear over a couple of days.
What equipment is used?
The most common Intravitreal injections are Lucentis and Avastin.
Lucentis and Avastin are Anti-VEGF drugs. They are injected into the eye to block the protein responsible for the growth of new blood vessels. The injection is into the eye cavity (Vitreous Humor) where the anti-VEGF drug can spread to the retina. The injections are generally administered at four week intervals.
What are the risks?
As with any surgical procedure there are risks to consider before having surgery. Technology and surgical techniques have reduced these risks to a very low level however, these need to be considered.
What are the benefits
For patients with diabetic retinopathy, gradual improvement in vision can be seen over weeks or months. The ultimate outcome of treatment depends on the severity and progression of the diabetic retinopathy.