Sunday, December 16, 2012
Last week, the mail brought great news for me. I passed my American Board of Ophthalmology (ABO) Certification test. The test culminated a multi-year process to re-certify. Most patients don’t realize that physicians have to constantly attend lectures, review their charts, and take exams to keep the title of Board Certified. Organizations make these standards for every specialty in medicine and most doctors must recertify every ten years. After practicing for twenty years, this is my second recertification process.
This whole process of testing physicians began about twenty-five years ago. Before then, doctors became Board Certified for life and never had to provide proof of competency. Patients can look up to see if their doctor is board certified by following the link to the ABO above. As for me, there is no time to rest. Medicine moves so fast, that we as physicians, have duty to our patients to constantly keep up and improve.
Sunday, December 2, 2012
Medicine, like culture, tends to have shifts in philosophy. For a long time, for every patient complaint, there was a medicine to cure it. Unfortunately, this approach has led to an unreasonable number of pills and drops that patients have to take everyday. Beyond the burden of taking so many pills, the ever growing cost and possibility of side effects led to a widespread problem of patients simply not taking their medication as directed.
For an eye doctor, our patients take drops and although we don’t have many serious side effects, simple drops are not so simple. First of all, many people have trouble just squeezing the bottle and getting the drop to fall correctly on the eyeball. Some of these drops cost $1.50/drop and many times, they are being wasted on the patient’s cheek! Finally, they can burn and irritate our sensitive eyes.
All of this has led to a change in how Dupage Ophthalmology takes care of our patients with glaucoma. Although we can prevent blindness, this disease, more than any other, requires a lifetime of drops. Therefore, we are now doing everything we can to lessen this burden.
Using laser to treat glaucoma is an excellent option. The most advanced of these laser procedures is called Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty (SLT). This amazing procedure delivers microscopic laser spots to the drainage system of the eye. Often, patients develop a 20% reduction of eye pressure that can last for years. The laser has been in use for over a decade and we have extensive experience in its safety and effectiveness.
Our patients have been very happy with their SLT experience at our Lombard office. With a one time procedure, they can treat their glaucoma without the daily burden of drops. Since insurance covers the cost, this is less expensive than drops for both the patient and the insurance company. A win-win situation!
|SLT has the same effect as the leading drop|
Sunday, November 18, 2012
I’m excited to announce the beginning of Laser Cataract Surgery coming to the Elmhurst Outpatient Surgery Center. My partner, Dr. Sheridan Lam, and I have been working for months to bring the Catalys Femtosecond Laser to Dupage County. We are at the beginning of a revolution in cataract surgery and now our patients will be among the first to reap the benefits.
Every decade or so, a new method of surgery is created that completely changes everything and this new method of using a laser is just so revolutionary. While I will get into the specifics of what all we can do, let me start a series of posts by simply explaining what will happen.
This is true robotic surgery. When I perform this, I won’t be holding some laser scalpel in my hand. Instead, my patient will literally dock their eye into a sophisticated laser machine complete with visual scanning system that looks deep into the eye. I will program what cuts need to be made into the cornea (where, what angle and shape) and how I want the cataract to be cut up. Then the laser machine, in a few minutes, will make precise cuts into the eye and into the cataract lens.
Afterwards, the patient will be prepped and moved to the microscope where I will perform the cataract surgery. The difference is that the eye has been fully prepared, the cataract has been “softened” and the whole surgery will be safer, faster, with less energy delivered to the eye structures leading to a faster recovery and better outcome.
The new Catalys laser has been delivered to Elmhurst. I can hardly wait to start!