Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Ophthalmology Lessons

So, I've been getting a lot of cool eye experiences lately. Yesterday, I assisted with a PRP and observed an Avastin injection. 

PRP is a laser treatment that zaps the retina multiple times in order to seal off leaky blood vessels. A big needle full of anesthetic is injected into the back of the eye before the laser so that the patient will only feel a dull pain during the treatment. This treatment is used for people with diabetes who are having complications with their vision.
Patients with wet macular degeneration suffer from blood vessel growth and leakage on the retina and macula. Avastin is a medication that is injected into the eye that prevents blood vessels from growing. This procedure is a bit faster and less painful. A topical anesthetic is applied at the area of injection.
My learning spree continued today at work when we had a staff seminar on canaloplasty. This meant free lunch from the drug rep, well in this case the procedure rep? 
This is a new procedure for those with open angle glaucoma. Glaucoma is high pressure in the eye that is normally treated with eye drops that must be used for the rest of the patient's life. However, with this procedure, patients have a chance of getting off drops for good. The rep really wanted us to learn all about the procedure since one of our docs is being trained to perform them. So she shared a video of the surgery. I almost considered posting a photo but they are a bit bloody and not for the faint of heart. See photos of the procedure here.

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