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10 posts from March 2010

March 24, 2010

Olympic Bronze Medal Winners to Visit EyeCare 20/20

The Olympic Bronze Medalist bobsled team of Erin Pac and Elana Meyers will be paying a visit to EyeCare 20/20 on April 5.  Elana will be joining Erin as a member of LASIK for the Gold.  Erin had LASIK surgery performed on her last year before the Olympics while Elana will have LASIK on April 5.  Below is our press release for this exciting day:


EAST HANOVER, NJ – Meet United States Olympic Bobsledders Erin Pac and Elana Meyers at EyeCare 20/20 on Monday, April 5 from 12:00-2:00 p.m.   Pac and Meyers maneuvered a 400 pound sled down the fastest bobsled run in the world and won Bronze last month in Vancouver.  Reaching speeds in excess of 90 mph on a track that overturned countless sleds in both the men’s and women's fields, Pac's steady hands and sharpened vision brought her and teammate Elena Meyers their first taste of Olympic hardware. Bobsled pilot Pac attributes part of her success to the LASIK surgery provided by Cary M. Silverman, M.D. Pac’s teammate and brakeman Meyers will be undergoing her LASIK surgery on April 5.  The athletes will be signing free autographs and taking pictures with fans.  The public is welcome.  Food and beverages will be provided for this celebratory party for Team EyeCare 20/20.

"The track in Vancouver is ridiculously fast so of course clear vision was more important than ever," said Pac.  "It was the thrill of a lifetime to stand on the Olympic podium and I'm so grateful to everyone at EyeCare 20/20 for the help in making my Olympic dream come true."

EyeCare 20/20 did its part to help Team USA in the 2010 Winter Games through the LASIK-for-the-Gold campaign. EyeCare 20/20 gave free LASIK surgery to USA athletes to assist their pursuit of gold with the addition of “new eyes”. Team EyeCare 20/20 claimed seven medals in Vancouver, including: Chad Hedrick (speedskating – silver and bronze), Molly Engstrom (hockey – silver), Katherine Reutter (short track - silver and bronze) and Curt Tomasevicz (bobsled – gold).

“It was an amazing feeling as I sat up and for the first time since the third grade, I could read the clock on the other side of the room without the aid of my glasses or contacts,” said Gold Medalist and member of the 4-man Olympic Bobsled Team, Curt Tomasevicz. “I'm thankful for the life-changing procedure performed by Dr. Silverman and his staff. I hated the discomfort of my glasses and I hated having to rely on my contacts, especially in a sport where perfect vision is vital.”  

The athletes traveled from all across the country to EyeCare 20/20 for treatment because of the practice’s recognition as one of the premier LASIK facilities in the country. "The medals represent years of hard work, discipline and focus and I am thrilled beyond belief," said Speedskater Katherine Reutter.  "It took a whole team of people to help me realize my dreams and Dr. Silverman and everyone at EyeCare 20/20 were a part of that team.  At the Olympics, I no longer had to worry about contacts, solution or even glasses.  I saw better than ever and I'm pretty excited to be looking clearly at a brand new pair of Olympic medals!"

With the Winter Olympics now over and Summer Olympics around the corner, Dr. Silverman is continually adding Olympians to his already long list of professional and collegiate athletes that have enjoyed this visual enhancement.  The list of athletes now includes ten Olympians or Olympic hopefuls. “I’m just doing my part to help Team USA claim gold.  I love the Olympics and it’s been an honor helping these dedicated athletes be their best,” said Silverman.

Olympic hopefuls who had LASIK surgery also include these four who hope to continue their success in the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. Arielle Martin of US BMX is the current UCI World Cup SX Champion. The 2008 USA Cycling BMX National Champion, Jill Kintner who went on to win the bronze medal in BMX racing in the sport’s Olympic debut in 2008 in Beijing. US National Table Tennis player and Current US National Mixed Champion Samson Dubina, as well as Pole Vaulter Melinda Owens.

March 23, 2010

Photo Bleaching of Cataracts in Our Future?

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I read an interesting article today in the New York Times, by Henry Fountain titled: Laser Treatment May Work for Cataracts.  The article describes some research out of Denmark, published on line in Plosone.

A cataract is an aging process whereby the eye's natural lens becomes more dense and opacified.  The main treatment for cataracts is surgery, removal of the lens with its replacement with an IOL.  As a worldwide treatment, this can be expensive, requiring a trained surgeon and an OR.  The authors of this paper are attempting to reverse the lens' aging process with the use of a laser to bleach the lens. 

The conclude:

femtosecond photolysis has the potential clinical value of replacing invasive cataract surgery by a non-invasive treatment modality that can be placed in mobile units, thus breaking down many of the barriers impeding access to treatment in remote and poor regions of the world.

This is certainly an interesting and novel approach towards addressing the world's leading cause of reversible blindness!

March 22, 2010

Broken Healthcare in America: Problems in the ER

Last week I received a letter from a hospital I am on the staff of.  The letter requested that I fill out a survey aimed to improve "both the quality and the practice environment" of the hospital.  This letter came several weeks after I observed first hand how most hospitals are out of touch with their patients' needs.

Instead of filling out the survey, I sent the following letter to the hospital's Executive Director:


March 22, 2010

                            Re: Recent survey request

Dear Dr xxxxxx:
 
I recently received a letter from you asking me to fill out a survey “aimed to enhance both the quality of care and the practice environment at our hospital.”
 
I am an ophthalmologist on staff at xxxxxxx.  Since the bulk of my practice is office based, and my surgery is done at an ambulatory cataract center, I have very little daily interaction with the hospital, other than my annual week on call for the emergency room.
 
I am therefore writing to give you some insight into xxxxxxx's “lack of quality” as seen through the eyes of a patient’s family member.
 
My father is a 79 year old cardiac patient who called me at 11 PM on Monday, February 22.  He asked me to come pick him up and bring him to the ER, as he had uncontrolled diarrhea and cold sweats.  Although he usually has his medical care at another hospital, I took him immediately to xxxxxx's ER.  It was the closest, and I am on staff.
 
After we checked in and sat in the waiting room for a while, I noticed that there was NO movement of patients, nor any communications explaining any wait.  I asked to speak with a supervisor to see if we could be treated with some courtesy, as I was on the medical staff.  I was told that there was a 7 hour wait to be seen, and assured my father would be seen within the hour.  (The 7 hour wait was never mentioned upon intake.)  This was my last communication with any of the ER staff. After waiting 2 hours, my father and I walked out of the ER!
 
This is not the type of treatment expected from a Health Care System whose motto is:  “A Legacy of Excellence.”  I have never seen such poor patient communication and quality assurance.  If I ran my practice this way, I doubt I would have many patients.  I can only imagine how the family of a non medical staff member is treated. Needless to say, I will not be recommending xxxxxx to any patients, family, or friends.
 
I will not be completing the survey as you requested, and I am enclosing it with this letter.
 
Sincerely,
 
 
Cary M. Silverman, MD
Medical Director
EyeCare 20/20


Now this hospital is a very successful hospital in the affluent suburbs.  One can only imagine how it and hospitals in poorer communities will fare with the upcoming cuts sure to come with the passage of health care reform.  Things will surely be getting worse.  Please leave me a comment to let me know what you think?

March 18, 2010

US Hockey's Molly Engstrom Talks about Her Olympic Experience & LASIK

Molly e action

In response to our recent press release, we received an e-mail from Molly Engstrom, defenseman for the Silver Medal US Women's Hockey Team and a LASIK for the Gold Member.  I thought I would share it with you all:

Hi Kerry and Dr. Silverman,
 
What a great article!  So cool to read up on the other athletes (of which I spent a good amount of time with Chad and Katherine through the dining hall and in the village) and reflect on my experience with you guys and your staff at eye care 20/20.  My eyes are awesome and like Katherine said in the article, it was so great to be at the Olympics not only with great vision but without having to worry about contacts and glasses and messing with solution.  It was a long journey and a wonderful journey for the Women's hockey team.   We had such a great group in Vancouver, and although heartbreaking in the end it was one of the most wonderful experiences of my life and I know it was very special for all of us.  I just wanted to let you know that you were with me on my journey.   I always think about how I can see perfectly without glasses or contacts and most often times I find it unbelievable.  It has taken a great amount of  time, energy and effort of so many people in my life to help me get to the Olympics and you are part of that family for me.  Thank you so very much!
 
My very best,
 
Molly

March 15, 2010

Anti-Depressants Linked to Cataracts, Now That's Depressing!

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from  http://newzar.wordpress.com/2009/01/

A recent study, soon to be published in Ophthalmology, found that taking certain anti-depressants increased one's risk of developing cataracts.

The study was based on a database of more than 200,000 Quebec residents aged 65 and older.  The University of British Columbia (Vancouver) study showed a relationship between a diagnosis of cataracts or cataract surgery and the use of a class of anti-depressants called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).  Patients taking SSRIs were 15% more likely overall to be diagnosed with cataracts or to have cataract surgery.

The study also showed a relationship between cataracts and specific SSRI Class drugs.   Taking fluvoxamine (Luvox) led to a 51% higher chance of having cataract surgery, and venlafaxine (Effexor) carried a 34% higher risk. No connection could be made between fluoxetine (Prozac), citalopram (Celexa), and sertraline (Zoloft) and having cataract surgery.

March 13, 2010

Team EyeCare 20/20 Wins SEVEN Olympic Medals Improved Vision Yields Team USA Gold, Silver & Bronze

http://winter2010olympics.net/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/winter_2010-vancouver-olympics-medals1.jpg

from http://winter2010olympics.net/

Thought you would be interested in our latest press release.  Here it is:

Team EyeCare 20/20 Wins SEVEN Olympic Medals
Improved Vision Yields Team USA Gold, Silver & Bronze

EAST HANOVER, NJ, MARCH 10, 2010 - With the 2010 Olympic Games complete, Team USA triumphantly returned to The States this week having earned a record setting thirty-seven Olympic medals.  Seven of those medals came from an unusual collection of athletes from different sports and different parts of the country, whose common ground was the surgical expertise of Cary M. Silverman, M.D. of EyeCare 20/20.  In the months leading up to the Olympics, Silverman performed LASIK vision correction surgery on a collection of 2010 Olympic hopefuls, at no charge to the athletes, and the results for Team USA were eye-opening.  Silverman's patients earned nearly 20% of Team USA's record total including one gold, three silver and three bronze medals. 

 
"I'm thrilled for our athletes, and for all of the athletes who so graciously represented our country in Vancouver," said Silverman. "To have played a small part in helping these athletes be at their best when they needed it the most has been an incredible honor for me and the entire team here at EyeCare 20/20."
 
In the prelude to the Olympics, Silverman created Team LASIK-FOR-THE-GOLD, offering his surgical services to any 2010 Olympic hopeful athletes including Chad Hedrick (speedskating - silver and bronze), Erin Pac (bobsled - bronze), Molly Engstrom (hockey - silver), Katherine Reutter (short track - silver and bronze) and Curt Tomasevicz (bobsled - gold). 
 
Reutter became the first US woman in 16 years to win an individual Olympic medal in the action packed sport of short track speedskating when she captured the silver medal in the women's 1000 meter event. 
 
"The medals represent years of hard work, discipline and focus and I am thrilled beyond belief," said Reutter.  "It took a whole team of people to help me realize my dreams and Dr. Silverman and everyone at EyeCare 20/20 were a part of that team.  At the Olympics, I no longer had to worry about contacts, solution or even glasses.  I saw better than ever and I'm pretty excited to be looking clearly at a brand new pair of Olympic medals!"
 
One of the more noteworthy successes of an EyeCare 20/20 patient was undoubtedly that of bobsled driver Erin Pac.  Not considered a likely medalist before the Olympics, Pac faced one of the toughest challenges of The Games - maneuvering  a 400 pound sled down the fastest bobsled run in the world.  Reaching speeds in excess of 90 mph on a track that overturned countless sleds in both the mens' and women's fields, Pac's steady hands and sharpened vision brought her and teammate Elena Myers their first taste of Olympic hardware.
 
"The track in Vancouver is ridiculously fast so of course clear vision was more important than ever," said Pac.  "It was the thrill of a lifetime to stand on the Olympic podium and I'm so grateful to everyone at EyeCare 20/20 for the help in making my Olympic dream come true."
 
For more information about all of these athletes,  visit:

www.LASIKForTheGold.com

More exciting news will be release next week, stay tuned!

March 11, 2010

Participate in Contact Sports? LASEK is the Answer

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One of the many questions I face from prospective patients inquiring about LASIK is "When is it safe to get hit in the eye?"  The answer may be never!  If the eye is hit at just that right angle with just the right force, there is a chance that the LASIK flap can be moved.  Case in point:  I reported the 2 latest cases in medical literature of LASIK flaps moving up to 9 years after the original surgery.  The results were presented at last years American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery's Annual Meeting in San Francisco.  The title of this presentation was:  Late Onset Dehiscence of LASIK Flap.

So, when a prospective patient tells me they are actively involved in activities that may lead to an eye injury such as:

  • Boxing or martial arts
  • Occupations such as special forces

I will try to convince them to opt for LASEK, a surface treatment that involves no flap.  If one gets hit in the eye following this procedure, there is no increased risk of injury.

Doug Miller is moving towards a career as a professional Ultimate fighter.  He discusses his results with LASEK with me here.



March 05, 2010

LASIK for the Gold's Curt Tomasevicz and Night Train do Letterman's Top 10!

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Last night's David Letterman's Late Show featured the Olympic Gold Medal winning bobsled team "Night Train" performing the top 10 list.  It was great seeing LASIK for the Gold's Curt Tomasevicz enjoying his success!  Here it is:

Top 10 things you don't want to hear from a guy in your bobsled:

10.  Ooohhh, you're strong!

9.  Somebody else steer, I'm twittering.

8.  Hope you don't mind, I brought my kitty.

7.  We're lost.

6.  I bought us a Toyota bobsled.

5.  Why can't we ever be this close out of the sled?

4.  Does something seem off with the shrimp salad at lunch?

3.  After the race, wanna take a shower?

2.  Stop breathing on my neck.

1.  That's not the brake lever, but don't stop pulling.

It was very funny, hope you enjoy it!


March 04, 2010

Post Menopausal Women Beware: Hormone Replacement + Alcohol = Cataracts!?

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Photo courtesy of http://www.theage.com.au/news/technology/quarks-gluons-and-corroborating-emc2/2008/11/21/1226770694126.html

There is an interesting article in this month's Ophthalmology titled Hormone Replacement Therapy in Relation to Risk of Cataract Extraction: A Prospective Study of Women.

This study included 30,861 women aged 49 to 83 years who completed a questionnaire about hormone status, use of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and lifestyle. Of these, 4,324 women underwent cataract surgery during the 98-month follow-up interval.

Results showed:

  • Women who had ever used HRT had a 14% higher risk of cataract than women who had never used therapy.
  • Current HRT users had an 18% higher risk of cataract than women who never used HRT.
  • In women who consumed alcohol, current HRT users had a 29% higher risk of cataract extraction than those who did not use therapy.
  • Current HRT users who consumed more than one alcoholic beverage daily had a 42% higher risk of cataract.

The study concluded that postmenopausal women using HRT for a long period of time may be at an increased risk for cataract extraction, especially those drinking >1 alcoholic drink daily.

Cover Image

It certainly makes sense for women who are or have beenon HRT to limit their alcohol intake if they wish to reduce their risk of cataract development.

March 01, 2010

LASIK for the Gold Athletes Shine in Vancouver with 7 Medals!

With yesterday's closing ceremonies marking the close of the 2010 winter games in Vancouver, its time to reflect on the outstanding performances of our LASIK for the Gold athletes.  Overall, the group won 7 medals, 1 Gold, 3 silver, and 3 bronze.  If LASIK for the Gold were a country, this total would place us in 13th place just behind the Netherlands and ahead of the Czech Republic!  Awesome job!!

Here is a breakdown of how our athletes did:

Curt Tomasevicz

Curt Tomasevicz won a Gold medal as the brakeman of the 4 man bobsled.  He also finished 6th in the 2 man event.

Erin Pac

Erin Pac took the Bronze in the women's bobsled.

Molly Engstrom

Molly Engstrom won a Silver Medal as part of Team USA's women's hockey team.

Chad Hedrick

Chad Hedrick won a Bronze in the men's 1000m speedskating and a Silver in the men's Team pursuit.  He also placed 6th in the 1500m and 11th in the 5000m.

Katherine Reutter

Katherine Reutter took a Silver in the women's 1000m short track speedskating and a bronze in the 3000m relay.  She also placed 4th in the 1500m and 3rd in the 500m B finals.

Dan Joye

Dan Joye placed 6th in the doubles luge.

All in all, an excellent job by all our winter athletes.  Now the countdown begins for the 2012 summer games in London!