Macular Degeneration Surgery in Spain

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About the Macular Degeneration Surgery

What is macula and macular degeneration?

Macula is the yellowish oval area surrounding the retina of the eye, and it is the finest part where images are received. Degeneration of the macula occurs mostly at the age of 60, and hence, it is termed as age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Patients experiencing macular degeneration may not experience total blindness, but they may lose most of their central vision. The symptoms observed in this condition are the need for brighter light while reading, difficulty recognizing faces, decreased intensity of colors, etc.

Macular degeneration is mainly associated with aging. However, other factors such as smoking, hereditary, sedentary life style also cause macular degeneration.

What are the types of macular degeneration?

There are two types of macular degeneration. Each have different macular degeneration symptoms and are diagnosed with the help og macular degeneration test.

Dry AMD- It is the most common form of eye disease, and it is the early-intermediate stage of macular degeneration. The patients may experience slight vision changes; however, they may not notice the symptoms.

Wet AMD- It is the most severe form of macular degeneration that leads to complete vision loss. This occurs due to abnormal growth of blood vessels beneath retina and macula which leads to the destruction of healthy cells. It is proved that nearly 10% of people with macular degeneration have this type of AMD. If you have Wet AMD, macular degeneration symptoms may include seeing wavy lines, or dark spots throughout the day.

Juvenile MD- In some cases, macular degeneration can also affect young people, a condition called as juvenile macular degeneration. Scarring of macula is seen in such patients.

How is Macular Degeneration Surgery performed?

There is no special macular degeration treatment for dry AMD as it does not have any effect on side vision and it does not cause total blindness. But the progression of the disease can be prevented by a healthy lifestyle. It is proved that taking specific high-dose formulation of antioxidants and zinc decreases the risk of advanced AMD and the vision loss.

But in some cases, when the patients have advanced dry macular degeneration, Surgery can be done to implant a telescopic lens in one eye. This helps in improving both distance and close-up vision.

Some macular degeneration treatment options help slow down vision loss associated with wet AMD. These include:

1.Laser surgery

It is used to destroy abnormal blood vessels within the retina. A high beam of light is directed onto the blood vessels to destroy them. This treatment is effective in slowing vision loss in patients who have developed new blood vessels away from the cornea.

2.Anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)

injections are prescribed to prevent abnormal blood vessels. Over expression of VEGF can cause vascular disease in the retina of the eye; which is inhibited by the anti- VEGF drugs that control or slow those diseases. Drugs which are classified as anti-VEGF drugs include aflibercept, bevacizumab, and ranibizumab.

3.Photodynamic laser therapy (PDT):

This involves laser treatment for selected areas of the retina. Your physician administers a drug called verteporfin into the vein of your arm. The drug travels the blood vessels and is absorbed by new blood vessels. Then, a low-power laser light is applied to the newly grown blood vessels; which activates the drug present in the blood vessels.

Once activated, the drug slows the growth of new blood vessels and slows the rate of vision loss.

Recovery from Macular Degeneration Surgery

The physician will prescribe eye drops to keep your eyes moisturized after the macular degeneration treatment. This also helps in preventing the infection after surgery. It takes nearly three to six weeks to heal after the AMD treatment.

Risks and complications

Laser therapy damages some of the nerve cells in the macula which may cause vision loss.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the health care infrastructure of Spain / Why should opt for Spain as a destination for your medical treatment?
Spain has a uni payer healthcare system. This means that there is universal coverage for most of the expenses (excluding prescription drugs). One might have to wait for quite some time to avail of elective procedure treatment in Spain. Non-European travelers must have valid health insurance coverage to benefit from the hospitals in Spain. One can also avail of it on a residency visa. The private insurance system helps you to avail the benefits at monthly costs. The taxes in Spain are comparatively lower than those of other European countries. Hence, one can surely opt for this country for medical treatment.
What are the conditions of the hospitals in Spain? Are they JCI certified? What is the quality of the support staff in the hospitals?
The Joint Commission International (JCI) is a global leader in health care accreditation. JCI accreditation is considered a gold standard in worldwide health care. It provides the most skilled and experienced healthcare professionals in the medical industry, as evaluators of the rigorous international standards in healthcare quality and patient safety. Here are a few JCI certified hospitals in Spain :
  • Vithas Xanit International Hospital
  • Grupo Hospitalario Quirónsalud
  • Centro Médico Quironsalud Teknon
  • Hospital General de Catalunya
  • Instituto de Microcirugía Ocular (IMO Barcelona)
  • Sanitas Hospitales
  • Guttmann Institute
  • Instituto Balear de Oftalmología (IBO)
Are the doctors/surgeons in Spain of the best quality?
The hospitals in Spain are based on “el sistema national de salud” which provides high-quality care and medical centres, that is, “centros de salud”. This system has public and private healthcare systems, often within the same level. Since many countries send ex-pats here, one can even find an English speaking doctor very easily. Most doctors are adequately skilled and can handle the cases.
What is the process for obtaining a medical visa in Spain?
One has to apply for a Schengen Visa to gain entry into Spain for a medical purpose. The required documents when applying for a Schengen Visa for Medical Treatment are as follows:
  1. Visa application form.
  2. Two photos.
  3. Valid travel document/passport.
  4. A copy of your passport's data page.
  5. Roundtrip flight reservation.
  6. Travel Medical Insurance.
  7. Proof of accommodation
What support services does MediGence provide in Spain?
MediGence has been praised on a global scale for the list of services they provide. Apart from the listed services, the staff and the guides are adorned for their customer interaction, impromptu assistance, and various other assistance related guidance throughout the tour. Thus, the list of services provided by MediGence are:
  • Insurance query related guidance
  • In-detail guidance till completion of the medical tour
  • Visa Assistance
  • Free airport to hospital transfer
  • On-Ground Support
  • Teleconsultations
  • Accommodations Assistance
  • Rehabilitation and recovery services
Which are the best cities in Spain for medical treatment?
Spain has many cities like Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, and Pamplona that have some of the best hospitals in Spain. Madrid has good hospitals for general and reproductive health facilities. Barcelona has hospitals specializing in child healthcare.

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