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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 Overview

Macular degeneration is the leading cause of severe vision loss in people over age 60. It occurs when the small central portion of the retina, known as the macula, deteriorates. The retina is the light-sensing nerve tissue at the back of the eye. Because the disease develops as a person ages, it is often referred to as age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Although macular degeneration is almost never a totally blinding condition, it can be a source of significant visual disability. There are...

Read the Age-Related Macular Degeneration Overview 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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