But North Carolina Eye, Ear, Nose & Throat off
Cataract surgery is their most common procedure, Perry said, and with baby boomers reaching age 65, the more precise surgery will positively impact their way of life.
"I wanted to see so badly, and when (Perry) told me that I wouldn't have to wear glasses after this procedure, and I've worn glasses since I was 15 years old and I'm now 72, and I said, 'That sounds like a winner,'" Woodard said.
The equipment is based at
"The real advantage is not necessarily for the hospital, but the patients that we serve," Shults said. "We may be able to garner more cases, but I think the real beneficiary of it is indeed the patient."
The femtosecond laser, which operates at one quadrillionth of a second, performs a capsulotomy, or an incision into the capsule that contains the natural crystalline lens of the eye, to remove and replace the natural lens with an artificial one. The old lens is fragmented for easy removal.
"I didn't hesitate," Swinson said. "In fact, I thanked him. I like being on the cutting edge. I had the confidence in his team."
Swinson went from her right eye, which underwent conventional cataract surgery in August, to using the LenSx on her left eye. She was hooked to an IV that delivered anesthesia, then woke up and went home right after the procedure.
She said two weeks later that her left eye is healing faster and her vision is much crisper.
Before fixing her cataracts, she suffered from another eye condition -- Uveitis, or inflammation of the uvea, the middle layer of the eye. She had trouble reading license plates. She couldn't even read large-print books. She had family drive her around, especially at night.
The steroid drops they used cleared her condition, but also cause cataracts.
After the cataract procedure, Swinson can now read far-away signs on the highway. She's reading mystery novels and autobiographies with clarity. And she's driving.
"Driving is the very first thing that I feel has brought back the quality of life," she said. "It gives me back my independence."
"They came back so excited about this technology," Ingersoll said. "That's really when we started very serious discussions with the hospital."
Four of their eye surgeons recently completed their LenSx training, she said, and have commented on how accurate and easy the procedure has become.
"They're like little kids at Christmastime," she said. "... For us, this is probably one of the most exciting things that has happened to our practice in more than 20 years."
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