Intravitreal steroid implants

Intravitreal steroid implants (IVSI) are a new way of treating certain eye conditions. Ozurdex was the first licensed drug available for IVSI injections to treat retinal vein occlusion, which is a blockage of veins in the retinal.

This blockage can lead to a build-up of fluid that can cause swelling to the macula at the back of the eye. This condition is known as macular oedema, and can lead to vision loss.

Ozurdex works by reducing the swelling to prevent more damage to the macula. The recommended treatment dose involves one Ozurdex injection into the eye. The IVIS implant itself is only 5mm in length, and is usually invisible to patients after their operation. Iluvien is a different steroid implant used to treat diabetic macular oedema, also known as diabetic oedema.

What conditions are Intravitreal Steroid Implants used for?

At Circle Health, we partner with leading Consultant Ophthalmologist who specialise in using intravitreal steroid implants to treat a group of intravitreal conditions, such as:

  • Retinal vein occlusion
  • Post-operative macular swelling
  • Diabetic macular oedema

Before the treatment

At Circle Health hospitals, intravitreal steroid implants are performed under local anaesthetic by leading Consultant Eye Surgeons. Before your treatment, your consultant will meet with you at a clinical appointment to assess your individual situation, and help you decide whether intravitreal steroid implants are suitable for you.

Intravitreal Steroid Implants: the procedure

Before the injection, your ophthalmologist will give you antibiotic eye drops to prevent infection, and anaesthetic drops to numb your eye area. Your eye and eyelid will also be cleaned. The steroid medication is prepared in a tiny capsule, which will be inserted into the eye with a small injection.

When will I recover?

Intravitreal steroid implants usually involve a rapid recovery. The treatment effects of these implants can last for between six months and two years depending on the type of implant. If the effect of this injection wears off and your consultant recommends it, another implant may then be injected into your eye.

What are the risks?

Serious side effects and complications from this treatment are rare. Your ophthalmologist can discuss the benefits and risks of IVIS for you at a clinical consultation.

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