Surgery for Macular Degeneration
Surgery for macular degeneration involves the use of a laser to destroy leaky blood vessels. This surgery is only effective for people with wet macular degeneration. People with the dry type cannot be treated with surgery for macular degeneration. Surgical treatment for macular degeneration can help prevent loss of vision, but repeated treatments are often necessary, and there is no guarantee of the results.
Surgery for macular degeneration uses a laser to destroy the fragile, leaky blood vessels. Only a small percentage of people with wet macular degeneration (and none for dry macular degeneration) can be treated with laser surgery. Macular degeneration surgery is more effective if the leaky blood vessels have developed away from the fovea, the central part of the macula.
Laser surgery is performed in a doctor's office or eye clinic. Although a person may go home the same day, he or she will need to return for follow-up exams.
During surgery for macular degeneration, a high-energy beam of light is aimed directly onto the new blood vessels, destroying them and preventing further loss of vision. However, laser treatment also may destroy some surrounding healthy tissue and some vision.
The risk of new blood vessels developing after macular degeneration surgery is high. Repeated treatments may be necessary. In some cases, vision loss may progress despite repeated treatments.