Careful Exam & Techniques Required for Cataract Surgery with Macular Degeneration

Top Quote "It is not uncommon for the cataract surgeons at Baltimore Washington Eye Center to evaluate patients for cataract surgery who already have signs of age related macular degeneration (AMD)," said Arturo Betancourt, M.D. End Quote
  • Baltimore, MD (1888PressRelease) February 11, 2014 - Age related macular degeneration and cataracts are two of the most frequent causes of visual impairment in seniors. "In fact recent data from Prevent Blindness America tells us that 2 million people over the age of 50 have macular degeneration and more than 25 million people over the age of 40 have cataracts with the rate of growth of both eye problems increasing rapidly. The challenge for us and the patient is to perform a very thorough and critical retina and macula exam prior to surgery and then to make sure we deliver the most precise and gentle cataract surgery procedure," noted Dr. Betancourt.

    Brad Spagnolo, M.D. Baltimore Washington Eye Center Cataract Surgeon further explained, "For patients with macular degeneration, we want to be able to really evaluate the macula carefully-but also the very delicate tissue and blood vessels above and beneath the macula itself. To do this, besides using conventional examination instruments and specialized examination lenses, we will also use imaging techniques such as optical coherence tomography (OCT) and sometimes fluorescein angiography to understand how the tissue health and the circulation might affect the results after cataract surgery. Then we can have a meaningful discussion with each patient."

    "In order to achieve a gentler cataract surgery procedure-one with the least agitation and potential for inflammation to the eye-we often prefer to use a laser cataract surgery procedure for patients with signs of preexisting macular degeneration," said Dr. Betancourt. "Also, I prefer a laser cataract surgery procedure for patients with signs of macular degeneration because my ability to more precisely place the lens implant and get an optimum optical correction is improved-and this too is important for these patients," offered Dr. Spagnolo.

    Cataract Surgeon Andrew Hammer, M.D. summarized, "Over the past several years there has been some concern that cataract surgery might accelerate the rate of progression of AMD in addition to some questions about the risks and benefits of performing cataract surgery on eyes with varying degrees of age related macular degeneration. Today, we know that in order to be able to see the macula and manage AMD, it is best done without a cloudy lens blocking view of the retina. Also, the most recent studies do not support the notion that AMD accelerates after cataract surgery so why deprive patients of any possible vision improvement? Finally, by taking the steps necessary to critically examine the macula and then delivering a low energy, precise laser cataract surgery procedure we know that we are taking the steps to get our patients the best results."

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    For additional information, contact:

    Jeff Trimmer, Baltimore Washington Eye Center, 200 Hospital Drive, Suite 600, Glen Burnie, Maryland 21061, JTrimmer ( @ ) bweyecenter dot com, 800-495-3937 dot

    SOURCE: Medical Management Services Group, L.L.C.

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