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Age-Related Macular Degeneration - Surgery

Wet AMD

Laser surgery doesn't cure wet age-related macular degeneration (wet AMD), but it can sometimes slow down or prevent further loss of central vision. Early surgery is vital to slowing down vision loss, which can be rapid.

But laser surgery is an option for less than one-fourth of people who have wet AMD.4 It is often hard to know in advance whether the surgery will do more harm than good.

Recommended Related to Macular Degeneration

Age-Related Macular Degeneration Diagnosis & Tests

Age-related macular degeneration can be detected in a routine eye exam. One of the most common early signs of macular degeneration is the presence of drusen -- tiny yellow deposits under the retina. Your doctor can see these when examining your eyes. Your doctor may also ask you to look at an Amsler grid -- a pattern of straight lines that resemble a checkerboard. Some of the straight lines may appear wavy to you, or you may notice that some of the lines are missing. These can be signs of macular...

Read the Age-Related Macular Degeneration Diagnosis & Tests article > >

By the time many people are diagnosed with wet AMD, it is often too late for surgery to provide much benefit. Even with treatment, many people will still go on to lose more of their central vision.

Dry AMD

Currently, surgery is not used to treat dry AMD. Laser surgery to remove deposits called drusen may slow vision loss in people with dry AMD, but experts think that it may increase the chance of developing wet AMD. Researchers are currently doing studies to see if this is an effective treatment.5

Surgery choices

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: November 12, 2012
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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