Published on January 17, 2020

NMMC Retina Center Offers Innovative Treatment

Dr. Heather Hancock, Retina Center

Dr. Heather Hancock recently gave the first Beovu injection at North Mississippi Retina Center. This new medication means fewer doctor visits for many patients with wet macular degeneration. 

TUPELO, Miss.—Retina surgeon Heather Hancock, M.D., recently gave North Mississippi Retina Center’s first Beovu® (brolucizumab) injection to treat wet age-related macular degeneration.

Beovu received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in October 2019. This medication lasts longer than previous options and is the first to allow patients to go three months between injections.

Age-related macular degeneration is a deterioration of the eye’s macula—the center of the retina that is responsible for central vision. Macular degeneration comes in two types: dry and wet.

Most people have the dry form, in which the macula may gradually become thinner and stop working properly. Wet macular degeneration occurs when the macula becomes unhealthy—abnormal blood vessels form and cause bleeding and scar formation. Treatment varies by patient, with most requiring injections every four to six weeks on average.

“Because these abnormal vessels leak fluid and blood, the fluid makes your vision blurry and the blood causes you to have blind spots,” Dr. Hancock said. “Beovu dries the retinal fluid and makes the blood vessels less likely to leak. Your vision can improve, possibly even to the point where you no longer need the injections.”

For patients who are good candidates for Beovu, the new injectable may mean fewer trips to the doctor—four times a year instead of every four to six weeks. “Many of these patients don’t drive, which means a family member has to take off work to bring them in,” Dr. Hancock said. “Any injection can be accompanied by a little discomfort, so fewer injections mean less discomfort.”

Dr. Hancock explained that patients must have three monthly injections of Beovu before “graduating” to the quarterly regimen. For more information about this and other innovative treatments at the North Mississippi Retina Center, visit www.nmhs.net/retina or call (662) 377-3340. Physician referral is not required.

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