What is Avastin?
Avastin (Bevacizumab) is a prescription drug injected by our Jacksonville area board-certified ophthalmologists into the eye of patients suffering from a number of eye-related vision problems. Dr. Shawn Agee and Dr. John Sullivan use this medication to slow down the gradual vision loss of patients with wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD), where the membrane of the retina eventually breaks, leading to the formation of new, abnormal blood vessels. As a result, Avastin is effective since the drug is classified as an anti-VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor), which blocks the growth of these abnormal blood vessels.
In addition, Avastin is often an effective treatment for one of the side effects of diabetic retinopathy, the swelling of the macula (central portion of the retina). Other eye diseases and conditions can be treated with Avastin as determined by your doctor. Although the drug is F.D.A.-approved to treat a variety of cancers, Avastin is “off-label” in regards to treating eye issues, but has been proven safe and effective.
What to Expect
An Avastin treatment is considered an outpatient procedure. Prior to the injection, your ophthalmologist will thoroughly clean out your eye in order to prevent any infections. Next, an anesthetic will be used to numb the eye. A fine needle will be used to inject the drug into the back of your eye, which goes through the vitreous gel in the middle of the eye. The process is repeated about every 4 – 6 weeks, as needed, usually over the course of several months for you to receive maximum benefit.
"He is a very caring Doctor, he will not milk your insurance, he will not give you unnecessary surgery if you don't need it. I will never trust anyone else with my vision"- M.H. / Healthgrades / Aug 17, 2016
"DR JOHN SULLIVAN took care of my right eye malecular hole in his own very special way. I recovered fully within 10 days from the date of my surgery.Thank you, DR. SULLIVAN - job well done :)"- E.G. / Google / Aug 06, 2019
"I have been extremely pleased with Dr. Agee and his staff. No one ever wants to deal with illness of any kind, much less problems with one's vision. Dr. Agee and his staff made an appointment to see me the day after my optometrist referred me. The treatment plan implemented by Dr. Agee along with his explanation of said treatment was very reassuring. Regarding waiting times, I think that goes to show you how many people they are helping. Thank God we have doctors also willing to work long hours to make sure all their patients are treated properly. I highly recommend Southeastern Retina Specialists."- B.R. / Google / Aug 06, 2019
"Very professional (Dr and staff alike). I was taken aback by the wait time but understood that other people are coming in with emergencies that could cost them their sight if not dealt with immediately. When my turn came, I was not disappointed. I felt like all of his focus was on me. Very efficient and informative documentation."- A.D. / Google / May 30, 2019
"Provides Excellent care and takes time to explain treatment plan"- Anonymous / Healthgrades / May 28, 2019
In some cases, other AMD treatments are combined with Avastin to provide superior results. While some patients have successful results where further vision loss is prevented, previous vision loss may not be restored. Patients should also keep in mind that future vision loss may not be completely prevented with the drug. In rare cases, some patients experience a worsening of their condition.
Ask about Avastin
Avastin can be an extremely effective treatment for patients with AMD and various eye conditions and diseases that contribute to vision loss. If you have any questions about the drug, our helpful and knowledgeable staff would be more than happy to answer them. Please call our office today for a consultation.