TPA (Tissue Plasminogen Activator) is a nonsurgical eye injection that’s often used to treat patients suffering from wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD). It’s also used to treat a common side effect of AMD, submacular hemorrhages. With wet AMD, new abnormal blood vessels grow under the retina (layer of light-sensitive tissue) in the back of the eye. These vessels leak which can decrease a patient’s ability to see and see clearly. As a result of AMD, a submacular hemorrhage can occur where the blood vessels bleed under the retina which further hinders vision. TPA works by dissolving the clot caused by the leaking blood vessels to improve vision and prevent worsening vision. Both Dr. Shawn Agee and Dr. John Sullivan use TPA therapy for Jacksonville, FL area patients diagnosed with macular degeneration. It is one of numerous treatment options available at our retina center.
What to Expect
Prior to this outpatient procedure, the eye will be cleansed to prevent any infections and numbed with a local anesthetic to alleviate any pain or discomfort. Your retinal specialist may extract fluid from your eye, if needed. TPA will be injected into the vitreous in the middle of the eye which is a gel-like fluid. Eye drops can be placed in the eyes immediately after the injection to further prevent infection and any discomfort. A protective eye patch is often placed over the eye. Your retinal specialist will determine how many further treatments you require, along with their timing.
With TPA, many patients can expect their hemorrhages to clear up and for blood vessels to stop leaking. This can result in restored vision with improved central vision and visual acuity (sharpness). Some patients have shown dramatic improvements in their vision in as little as a month.
Is TPA Right for Me?
To find out if TPA is right for you, all you have to do is call our office to schedule a consultation with a retinal specialist. We will be more than happy to walk you through the process, answer all of your questions, and address any concerns. Please feel free to give us a call today.