What is Photodynamic Therapy?

17 Mayıs 2022

The idea behind photodynamic therapy is to stimulate a substance called Verteporfin with low-energy, long-wavelength laser light after delivering it from the arm to the body. Since 2000, when this treatment was first used globally, we have been successfully using it at the Bayrampaşa Eye Hospital run by our foundation.

Aim To apply the treatment by occluding the vessels only in the targeted area, preserving its integrity as much as possible without causing a caustic effect or destroying a significant amount of tissue.

What diseases does it treat?

It was first successfully used in patients with various ages of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), also known as yellow spot disease among people. In the years that followed, the treatment approaches we used that involved injecting the eye with substances we refer to as anti-VEGF came to light, and photodynamic therapy was only used in cases with polypiodal choroidal vasculopathy in this patient group.

Today, in addition to macular degenerations, we use it to treat eye tumors, some vascular dilatations in the eyes known as hemangiomas, and chronic central serous chorioretinopathy (CSC).

Most cases of central serous chorioretinopathy occur in the 30–50 age range. The main contributor to disease is stress, followed by drug use and other known causes. Patients' maculas, which are part of the retina, experience fluid leaks, which can cause blurred or crooked vision. The resolution of complaints may occur naturally within a few months. Photodynamic therapy may be used if clinical findings do not improve or advance further.


Treatment Before beginning treatment, a tomography and eye angiography are performed to identify the lesion or area that needs to be treated. The drug verteporfin is administered intravenously over the course of 10 minutes, and after waiting for the medication to spread throughout the body for 5 minutes. Then, for one to one and a half minutes, depending on the circumstance, laser is applied to the desired area. The laser light activates the drug, starts coagulation in the vessels, and produces the desired therapeutic effect. After the procedure, the patient must be shielded from bright light, including the sun, for two days. Because the medication spreads throughout the body, it can be activated in regions that are exposed to light, obstructing the blood vessels and resulting in necrosis. Patients and their loved ones are specifically cautioned about this problem because of this. After about two weeks, the effects of photodynamic therapy start to show. The course of treatment may be repeated a few months later, depending on the circumstance and need.

Op. Dr. Ercan Sağlam

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