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Surgery for AMD

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20/20 Blog

Whether vitrectomy surgery for age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is harmful or helpful is not known. A study we co-authored suggests there may be some benefit for certain types of AMD.

In our study 2009, published in Ophthalmology, we did not detect that vitrectomy surgery increased the progression of AMD. In fact, it was associated with a reduced progression to geographic atrophy or CNV. Additional studies are needed to confirm or refute this association.

Forty-four eyes of 22 patients with AMD who underwent vitrectomy in 1 eye were included in the study. The progression of AMD at follow-up in the 22 eyes that underwent vitrectomy was compared with the 22 fellow, nonvitrectomized eyes. The average follow up interval was 5.5 years (range, 2–15). Choroidal neovascularization developed in 5 control eyes and in 2 vitrectomized eyes, and atrophy developed in 7 control and 4 vitrectomized eyes. The difference between vitrectomized eyes and fellow eyes for the combined end points of RPE geographic atrophy or CNV was significant (P less than 0.02).