Anti–vascular endothelial growth factor therapy, also known as anti-VEGF therapy or anti-VEGF medication, is the use of medications that block vascular endothelial growth factor. This is done in the treatment of certain cancers and in age-related macular degeneration. They can involve monoclonal antibodies such as bevacizumab, antibody derivatives such as ranibizumab (Lucentis), or aflibercept (Eylea).
Flow of Anti-VEGF Treatment
1Your ophthalmologist will clean your eye to prevent infection. The eye is numbed to reduce pain. ▼
2A small device may be placed on your eye to keep your eyelids out of the way. ▼
3Your ophthalmologist injects the drug through the white part of your eye using a very thin needle. ▼
4The injection only takes a few seconds. You usually do not see the needle itself. ▼
5Your ophthalmologist will decide how many treatments you need. You may need other types of treatment along with anti-VEGF treatment.
Some of the side effects that have been noted in patients receiving this medication include inflammation of the eye and increased intraocular pressure, both of these seen in less than 1 percent of users who utilize anti-VEGF therapy. Patients will typically present with pain within 24 hours of injection but symptoms will generally resolve spontaneously.
In a study aimed at determining how effective anti-VEGF therapy for wet macular degeneration could actually be in a long-term study, participants were asked to continue therapy for 2 years and only come for therapy when new vessels were noted on eye examination. In this study, it was found that patients needed on average 8 visits during the first year but only 5 visits during the second year for anti-VEGF therapy. After 12 months and 24 months respectively, participants retain visual acuity of at least 15 letters in 97.5 and 95 percent of cases respectively.
Anti-VEGF therapy is covered by insurance; for one injection, approximately 40,000～50,000 yen. If you don’t have health insurance, it will cost about 140,000～160,000 yen for one injection.
High-Cost Medical Expense Benefit (Eligibility Certificate for Ceiling-Amount Application)
If you are under 70 years of age and you apply for a high-cost medical expense benefit from your health insurance provider beforehand, your monthly payment at the cashier’s desk will be no more than a specified amount. If you have already paid without presenting an “Eligibility Certificate for Ceiling-Amount Application” or an “Eligibility Certificate for Ceiling-Amount Application and Reduction of the Standard Amount of Patient Liability”, you can claim a refund from your insurance provider. Coverage under this system is, however, limited to the insurance benefits of your medical expenses. Please note that extra charges for rooms, hospital gowns, and meals, etc. are not covered. In addition, this system is not applicable if your medical expenses do not exceed the limit of patient liability. We recommend that you apply for this system if you will be admitted for a long period of time or if your medical expenses are expected to be high. （Procedures）You must obtain an “Eligibility Certificate for Ceiling-Amount Application” or an “Eligibility Certificate for Ceiling-Amount Application and Reduction of the Standard Amount of Patient Liability” by applying through your health insurance provider beforehand. Please present this certificate at the reception desk, and your monthly payment will be no more than a specified amount. If you delay presenting the certificate, you may not be covered by this system. If you have any questions about the necessary procedures for applying and what happens if you transfer to another hospital, please ask your health insurance provider.
Retinal Specialist: Yasuhiro Shinkawa
Japan Ophthalmological Society
Japanese Retina and Vitreous Society
Japanese Society of Ophthalmic Surgeons
Certification of Completion
Course of Ophthalmic PDT Study Group
Number of cataract surgery up to the present:About 3000
2001 Graduate-Medical Department of Kumamoto University
2002 Department of Ophthalmology Kyoto University School of medicine
2002 Shimada Municipal Hospital
2008 Japanese Red Cross Society
2010 Kitano Hospital The Tazuke Kofukai Medical Research Institute
2014 Shinjuku-Higashiguchi Eye Clinic