Your appointment for anti-VEGF injection

What do you need to consider prior to treatment?
What to expect prior to treatment
How are anti-VEGF injections administered?

 

What do you need to consider prior to treatment?

It is important that we have knowledge of any prescribed medications that you are taking. You will probably be asked to continue these as usual. It is also essential that we know of any medical conditions you have.

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What to expect prior to treatment

You will be given antibiotic eye drops to use for a day prior to treatment. This is to limit the risk of infection in the eye.

You will be asked to sign a consent form to state that you have been provided with, and understand all the information given relating to the treatment (including the risks and benefits) and that you agree to the proposed treatment.

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How are anti-VEGF injections administered?

The injection is performed quickly and painlessly in an outpatient department. You will be made comfortable on a couch, lying back with your head on a pillow. After initial application of anaesthetic drops to the surface of the eye, a tiny anaesthetic injection is given under the conjunctiva, the clear membrane that covers the white of the eye. A “water blister” of anaesthetic is placed directly at the site of the intended anti-VEGF injection. The eye is cleaned with an iodine solution and the anaesthetic is given plenty of time to take effect.

A sterile clip (a speculum) is used to gently hold the eyelids open and the anti-VEGF agent is then injected through the white of the eye, most commonly in the upper outer quadrant.

Some patients say they feel a little pressure on the eye when the injection is being given, but it causes only minimal discomfort.

There are small risks associated with any injection into the eye and these have to be balanced against the risks of progression of AMD.

For Avastin, we recommend two injections at six week intervals. This is then followed by an assessment within three months, at which point the success of treatment can be evaluated either by OCT retinal scanning or fluorescein angiography.

Our experience suggests that some patients will need further treatments at a later date, although the long term requirement is simply not known.

For Lucentis, we recommend three injections at monthly intervals. This is then followed by further assessment and monthly injections if needed.

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