Advances in technology allow us to offer new alternatives to our patients with retina and macular diseases, which cause blindness. Steroid implants, anti-infection delivery systems, and growth factor implants are now available for the treatment of macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, retinal vein occlusions, uveitis, radiation retinopathy, recalcitrant macular edema, and scar tissue caused by retinal detachment. These implants may be used to treat patients that are unresponsive to conventional therapies or do not tolerate standard treatments. At RMI we specialize in making the most advanced options available to our patients.
Ozurdex is an intravitreal implant consisting of dexamethasone, which is a powerful corticosteroid. It is injected into the back of the eye to treat inflammation and fluid build-up that might blur and damage vision. A new applicator, using NOVADUR technology, allows the implant to be delivered in the office in a controlled and precise manner. Ozurdex releases potent synthetic steroids for up to three months and is now approved for the management of macular edema, associated with Branch Retina Vain Occlusions (BRVO) and Central Retinal Branch Occlusion (CRVO). Ozurdex is the first injectable, sustained-release, potent steroid implant that provides prolonged efficacy and which boasts a favorable safety profile. Other conditions under study include wet macular degeneration and uveitis. RMI is a study center for these diseases.
Retisert is a dramatic breakthrough in the treatment of chronic non-infectious posterior uveitis. It contains a small drug source of a corticosteroid agent, called fluocinole acetonide; the well-known steroid is slowly delivered and sustained for approximately 2.5 years. This is the first consistent long-term intravitreal implant for posterior segment uveitis. Retisert is surgically implanted into the back of the eye and begins managing inflammation immediately. It is a safer alternative to the systemic, potentially toxic drugs that treat ocular inflammation.
Vitrasert is used for the treatment of herpetic viral infections in the retina. The most common culprit is CMV (cytomegalovoris) retinitis, found in immunosuppressed patients, typically with AIDS. The intravitreal implant is surgically inserted and releases the anti-viral medication, ganciclovir, into the back of the eye, for 5-8 months. The medication slows, treats, and then prevents the virus from further development. The implant is an alternative to systemic medications which may be toxic to the patient.