Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Ambulatory Surgical Center

The Ambulatory Surgical Center here at Eyecare Medical Group operates four days a week. Our Our AAAHC approved outpatient surgery center has two operating rooms and is fully staffed to do surgery Monday - Thursday. Our ASC generally starts surgery around 7:30 am and often goes all day. There is a separate entrance to our surgery center so patients do not have to exit through our busy lobby. Each day is carefully scheduled so that all of our 8 surgeons have surgery time each week, leaving room for emergency surgeries when necessary. We have the ability to perform cataract surgeries, corneal transplants, trabeculectomies, and repair retinal detachments, among other things, every day here at EMG.

In addition to the doctors and technicians who use the OR to operate, our ASC is staffed by about 10 nurses and support staff that work in the surgery center full time. We also have a full time anesthesiologist that works with us in the ASC.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Posterior Capsule Opacity Photo

Darrin Landry, CRA, OCT-C, our photographer here at Eyecare Medical Group, entered the photo contest “The Best Photo in Vision Research and Ophthalmology” and won 4th place in the international competition in 2010. “The Best Photo in Vision Research and Ophthalmology” is sponsored by Vision Research, a European organization that focuses on networking researchers, ophthalmologists, academic institutions and research industries together to share information.
The contest, which is held every year, receives over a hundred submissions from all over the world.

The photo that Darrin took that won him 4th place was a posterior capsule opacity taken on a slit lamp camera at EMG.

Darrin has also submitted a photo for the 2011 competition but will not know anything until the fall.

Good luck, Darrin! Thank you for sharing your photo with us!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Lucentis for Diabetic Eye Disease

“We are thrilled that our clinical experiences have been confirmed by the positive results of a two-year clinical study of the vascular endothelial growth factor inhibitor (VEGF) drug Lucentis when used to treat Diabetic Macular Edema (DME) which is a cause of significant vision loss in patients with diabetes”, said Maine Vitreoretinal Specialist Scott Steidl , M.D. of Eyecare Medical Group in Portland. “Patients with Diabetic Retinopathy in the form of DME who received the drug experienced rapid and sustained improvement in vision compared to those who received a placebo injection.”

Diabetic Macular Edema or DME is the swelling of retina in people with diabetic eye disease called diabetic retinopathy, which causes damage to the blood vessels of retina. The DME patients suffers fluid leak from the damaged blood vessel to the central portion of retina, causing it to swell leading to blurred vision, severe vision loss and blindness.

“Of the 26 million U.S. people with diabetes, a portion of up to 10 percent tends to develop DME during their lifetime and up to 75,000 new cases of DME are estimated to develop each year”, said Vitreoretinal Surgeon Jackie Nguyen, M.D. of Eyecare Medical Group. Currently, most DME patients are treated with laser surgery that helps seal the leaky blood vessels to slow the leakage of fluid and reduce the amount of fluid in the retina.

Lucentis is approved for use by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of “Wet” Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) and for Macular Edema following Retinal Vein Occlusion. In 2011, Lucentis was approved for treatment of visual impairment due to DME in Europe.

If you or someone you know has diabetes or is even prediabetic they should have regular eye exams as early detection, diagnosis and treatment of diabetic retinopathy is the key to protect their eye health and vision. Please feel free schedule an appointment at Eyecare Medical Group by calling us Toll Free at 888-374-2020.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Meet Diane Grover at EMG

Diane Grover has worked at Eyecare Medical Group for 22 years as an administrative assistant. She is in charge of ordering all of our supplies, and planning just about any event that EMG holds. Diane multitasks with the best of them, filling in where needed around the office and always finding a way to remember what everyone needs. She has covered for every secretary in the building at one point or another and also covers in the OR, checking patients in for surgery, when she is needed. She does all of the planting in the spring, and all of the holiday decorating in the winter. She is in charge of Employee Appreciation Week, and she plans all of the birthday parties, retirement parties, and baby showers at EMG. She also plans a big party every summer for optometrists from all over Maine, and she does the menus and all of the setting up for the annual optometry seminars that EMG holds.  Thanks for ALL of your hard work, Diane!!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

My LASIK Evaluation-What to Expect?

LASIK can be an excellent vision correction option but it really requires that patients be carefully selected. The only totally reliable way to determine whether Laser Vision Correction or Laser Eye Surgery of any type is going to help you achieve your personal vision correction goals is to have a thorough consultation” commented Maine Corneal and LASIK Specialist Ravi Shah, M.D. of Eyecare Medical Group on Portland Maine.

Your LASIK consultation should consist of a number of clinical tests including:

 Measurement of your uncorrected visual acuity

 Measurement of your visual acuity with your current eyeglasses or contact lenses

 Optical measurement of the current prescription that you are wearing in your eyeglasses and/or a review of your current contact lens prescription

 A thorough review of your medical and eye history including all prescription and non-prescription medication that you have been or are currently taking

 A refraction-automated or manual-to determine your current prescription

 A topography measurement to digitally map the shape of your cornea

 A pachymetry measurement of the thickness of your cornea

 A measurement of pupil size

 A microscopic evaluation of the health of your cornea and tear film including testing for dry eyes.

From this testing it can be determined whether you should proceed to the final level of testing whereby the actual preoperative measurements are taken for your treatment and a thorough examination of the Retina and Optic Nerve can be performed. In addition to the actual clinical testing, your LASIK evaluation should include a full discussion of LASIK risks, benefits and complications and a thorough analysis of the personal goals and objectives that you feel are important to your success.

The best way for you or someone you know to find out if they are a good candidate for All Laser Bladeless LASIK or PRK is to have an evaluation, examination and consultation at Eyecare Medical Group. Please feel free to schedule an appointment by calling us Toll Free at 888.374.2020.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Great LASIK Prices

EMG is running a special on LASIK surgery now through September 30th. We are offering bladeless, all laser LASIK surgery for $1995 an eye. If you want physicians and staff you can trust- a team with over 15 years of clinical experience in Laser Vision Correction who are dedicated to getting you the best possible possible results at a reasonable price, call now for a free consultation!!  We can help you find out if you are a good candidate for any kind of refractive surgery, at no cost to you.  Like us on Facebook to get more details about our great LASIK prices!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Ophthalmic Technicians at EMG

Eyecare Medical Group encourages all of their clinical staff to be certified in some way. Certification for clinical personnel is generally done through JCAHPO, the Joint Commission of Allied Health Professionals in Ophthalmology. JCAHPO is an international organization and is the standard in ophthalmic certification. There are several different levels of certification for ophthalmic technicians. COA, or certified ophthalmic assistant, is considered the entry level certification into ophthalmology for clinical personnel. COT, or certified ophthalmic technician, is the intermediate level. COT’s have usually been in ophthalmology for some time and worked as a COA for at least a year. COMT’s, or certified ophthalmic medical technologist, is JCAHPO’s highest level of certification. COMT’s are generally among the top trained and educated among ophthalmic personnel and have generally worked in ophthalmology for an extended period of time. EMG has a clinical staff of 34, of which 5 are COT’s, 1 is a COMT, and about 20 are COA’s. Of that staff of 34, 21 are also credentialed to assist in surgery.

EMG has several other employees which are certified in different areas. There are several paraoptometric professionals; that is, those who are certified through the American Optometric Association. Our photographer is a CRA, or certified retinal angiographer. We also have 2 RN’s who are also CRNO’s, or certified registered nurses in ophthalmology, and they are certified through ASORN, the American Society of Ophthalmic Registered Nurses.

Anyone who holds a certification through any of these organizations is required to have extensive knowledge and training in their field and must pass a test in order to be granted certification. They are all required to maintain their individual certifications through continuing education credits and retesting when required.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Is LASIK or PRK a Better Choice?

LASIK and PRK are two types of Laser Eye Surgery for vision correction of nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism that have advantages and disadvantages. Both allow us to provide excellent results when we carefully select patients and explore the risks and benefits with them as well as help them to set realistic expectations and personal goals”, said Maine Corneal Specialist and LASIK surgeon Ravi Shah, M.D. of Eyecare Medical Group in Portland. “While the long term visual results of PRK and LASIK are identical there are some differences that we like our patients to be aware of.”

Patients who have LASIK may have very slightly reduced contrast sensitivity in dim illumination. If one uses extremely sensitive clinical measuring methods they can sometimes find a slight reduction in “low contrast” vision. Often it is so slight that the patient does not notice it except in the testing conditions or in very extreme instances of reduced contrast situations such as driving at dusk in the rain. Thus it is a limited problem for most patients.

The real differences between PRK and LASIK are based on the fact that PRK is a “surface treatment” and LASIK is a “lamellar treatment” which means that PRK is performed on the surface of the cornea whereas LASIK is performed between the layers of the cornea. “When I perform All Laser Bladeless LASIK it is really a 3-step procedure. First I create the “layer” or “flap” using a femtosecond laser-without the use of a blade or any cutting. Second, I apply the excimer laser to reshape the cornea to the correct prescription for your clear vision. Third, I replace the “flap” in its original position where it positions and adheres without the need for sutures”, said Dr. Shah. PRK is really a single step procedure where the excimer laser is simply applied to the surface of the cornea to reshape it into the proper prescription. Whenever you have a multi step eye surgery procedure there is always a greater chance of risks, side effects and complication. Fortunately the risks, side effects and complications of LASIK are relatively few and minor if you are indeed a good candidate and under the care of a top laser surgeon. So, PRK does offer a safer risk profile because it is a single step procedure.

However one of the not so subtle differences is that because it is a lamellar procedure, LASIK does not disturb the surface of the cornea during treatment. This provides patients with a much faster visual recovery and significantly less discomfort than PRK. This is why from the patient perspective most patients want LASIK eye surgery more than PRK. LASIK patients can get back to pretty much normal activities within a couple of days without any real pain-just some mild discomfort-and with good vision. Most LASIK patients are able to pass a drivers test with 24-48 hours of their laser treatment. PRK patients often experience moderate discomfort that can last a few days and depending on the degree of their prescription can take a week or so to achieve good functional comfortable vision.

The best way for you or someone you know to find out if they are a good candidate for All Laser Bladeless LASIK or PRK is to have an evaluation, examination and consultation at Eyecare Medical Group. Please feel free to schedule an appointment by calling us Toll Free at 888-374-2020.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Children's Eye Health Month

Eyecare Medical Group wishes to announce that August has been designated as Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month by Prevent Blindness America. Eye and vision problems affect one in twenty preschoolers and one in four school aged children. Parents should be aware that it is possible for their children to have a serious vision problem without even being aware of it. Infants should be screened for common eye problems during their regular pediatric appointments and vision testing should be conducted for all children starting at around three years of age. If there is a family history of eye problems or if an eye problem is apparent, it is important to bring it to the attention of and eye doctor so that they can advise the parents about when and how often their child’s eyes should be examined.

Among the conditions an eye doctor will look for are amblyopia (lazy eye), strabismus (crossed eyes), ptosis (drooping of the upper eyelid), color deficiency (color blindness) and refractive errors (nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism).