Phakic Eye Surgery

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June 6, 2011

Phakic Eye Surgery

D. Rex Hamilton, MD (Los Angeles, CA), UCLA Laser Refractive Center. "Implantable contact lenses."

Dr. Hamilton had a background in engineering before going into medicine and ophthalmology. He teaches and practices at UCLA.

The word "phakic" is from the Greek word "phakos" meaning lens. For younger people too nearsighted for Lasik surgery, Dr. Hamilton works with an implantable contact lens that fits into the interocular area of the eye, between the lens and the cornea. The contact is injected through a tiny incision. This procedure differs greatly from Lasik, which physically reshapes the cornea. The phakic procedure is similar to lens transplant surgery.

The procedure has been 98% successful in patients who cannot tolerate Lasik, which can cause severe dry eye. Arthritis sufferers, who are predisposed to dry eye, are considered poor candidates. Other eye health issues could also disqualify you. Patients must be over 18 and the nearsightedness must be stable and not progressive.

Phakic surgery has been around for 8 to 10 years. The FDA is conducting huge clinical trials. It is expected never to be as popular as Lasic.

Implanted contact lenses can be worn forever, don't need to be maintained, will not cause eye issues and do not distort.

Sharon asked Dr. Hamilton about nutrition and vision. He recommends carrots for the retina, which contains beta-carotene and other pigments. For dry eye and chronic inflammation, he recommends dark green leafy vegetables and omega-3 fatty acids. He does not recommend sugar, which is dehydrating.

He talked about infant eye education of patents and the importance of early vision screening.

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