Friday, December 10, 2010

Galileo Surgicenter offers Glaucoma Treatment and LASIK Surgery

To be more effective in what we do, it is important to take care of our eyes. No matter what our profession is, eyes are very vital in everything we do. It is difficult to have eye diseases that can hamper our work, studies and even relationships. Galileo Surgicenter is a modern eye care facility that provides patients with eye problems quality eye care through a faculty of skilled ophthalmic surgeons; a complement of professional, motivated and dedicated staff; a computerized set of procedures for rendering efficient and effective treatment plans; and state-of-the-art diagnostic and surgical equipment. The Grand Opening and Blessing of Galileo Surgicenter was held on November 9, 2010 at their new home in Edsa, Mandaluyong City.

Dr. Carlos Nadal, Medical Director of Galileo

Various Laser Methods for Treating Glaucoma
Glaucoma is a disease in which the optic nerves of the eyes are progressively damaged and lost at an accelerated rate, much faster than the normal aging process of the eyes, leading irreversible loss of vision. The progression of glaucoma is also associated with the occurrence of increased pressure in the eyes, which is why the primary treatment for its treatment is the reduction of that pressure.

The pressure buildup in the eyes is brought on by the production and the exit of aqueous fluid within the front of the eye. Traditionally, this can be treated with medications that reduce the production of the  aqueous fluid or increase the  efficiency of the drainage of the fluid or both. Nowadays however, the more advanced way of treating this is with the use of lasers.

There are various types of laser procedures for treating glaucoma. The first of which is Laser Iridotomy (LI). This procedure aims to create a hole in the peripheral of the iris that will force the fluid to flow from the posterior chamber into the anterior chamber without passing the pupil. A lens which will serve to focus the laser beam is placed over the eye. The laser is then shot over that lens several times going through the cornea until it reaches the peripheral iris.  LI is a very safe and simple preventive procedure that removes the risk of angle-closure with practically no danger of complications.

Next, Iridoplasty or Gonioplasty is the laser procedure in which the laser superficially burns the peripheral iris to cause a contraction of the tissue around it and to pull the iris away from the trabacular meshwork. This procedure takes a bit longer to complete than LI but is equally painless.

For severe glaucoma cases that are resistant to medication and have had a failed surgical treatment, the pressure buildup in the eye can be even stronger. Normally, patients with this condition end up getting their eyeballs removed to relieve them of the pain. This however leaves them permanently disfigured. With Cyclophotoablation however, it will not be able to restore good vision to the affected eye, but this will stop the secretion of the aqueous fluid to relieve the eye from the pain and thus eliminating the need to have it removed.

As for the last one, when the patient is having severe retinal vascular diseases in which abnormal blood vessels which bleed and cause glaucoma are formed, the treatment for them would be the Pan-Retinal Photocoagulation (PRP).

The glaucoma resulting from this bleeding is referred to as Neovascular Glaucoma. This condition is very difficult to treat. What PRP can do for patients with this condition is to destroy the entire retina but sparing the central area, the macula. The resulting burns will reduce the sections of the retina where the chemical agents that cause the development of the abnormal blood vessels are secreted from. This procedure will not improve the vision of the patient but it will at least prevent the development of a more serious complication such as neovascular glaucoma.

Opthalmology is a technology dependent branch of medicine, and the technological equipment required for these procedures are quite expensive which is why not too many eye care facilities here in the country have them. All those discussed however are among the new services that Galileo Surgicenter can now offer its patients. They now have the complete tools and equipment for conducting these procedures. But as Dr. Carlos Nadal, the Medical Director of Galileo said, “more than all these new equipment we have for conducting all these modern surgical procedures, we have the best ophthalmologists who will operate these machines to ensure that we give our patients the treatment they deserve.

Things to Know Before Undergoing LASIK Surgery
Wearing eyeglasses used to be the only means for correcting vision problems such as myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), presbyopia (blurring of vision with age) and astigmatism (blurred and distorted images). Nowadays however, those conditions can now be corrected with the help of this technological advancement in eye surgeries called LASIK (Laser-Assisted in-Situ Keratomileusis), and this surgical procedure for the eyes is among the new services that Galileo Surgicenter now offers.

LASIK is an out-patient procedure that involves the creation of a micro thin corneal flap and the use of a laser to reshape the cornea of the eye. This flap can be created in two ways: with the use of a microkeratome blade or with the blade-free IntraLase™ Femtosecond Laser.

“LASIK surgery however is not for everybody,” says Dr. Carlos Naval. There are various criteria that has to be met before a patient can be approved to undergo this procedure. Dr Naval further explains that the ideal candidate for undergoing the surgery should have overall good health status. Anything less could slow down the healing of the cornea after the surgery which could raise the risk of developing complications. Pregnant women also cannot undergo the procedure as the shape of the eye can temporarily be altered by the hormonal changes involved in pregnancy. Other conditions that can make a patient unsuitable for the procedure include chronic dryness of the eyes and having naturally large pupils.

Once a patient decides to go ahead with the procedure however, they will first have to undergo a set of screening procedures. These include Automated Refraction (AR), Manifest Refraction Patient Briefing on Lasik, Wavescan, Orbscan/ Topography, Lasik Suitability Test, Pupil Dilation, Lasik Counseling, Cyclo Refraction, I.O. / Consultation with Ophthalmologist, Pachymetry.

Dr. Naval also advises that those who wear contact lenses should stop wearing it a few weeks before they get screened. Contact lenses, depending on its type can change the shape of the cornea after the patient stops wearing it. The cornea should be allowed time to assume its natural shape in order to prevent any negative consequences. The patient will have to switch back to their eyeglasses for the time being. Using makeup and other cosmetic products that are used around the eyes is also prohibited. Using perfumes, colognes and deodorants are also not allowed on the day of the surgery even if these are not used near the eyes as its fumes can affect the performance of the very sensitive LASIK machine.

After the operation, patients can expect to experience some discomfort in their eyes; they will be provided with medications for it anyway. Doctors may also recommend the patient to wear protective goggles to avoid infection. Doing strenuous activities and should also be avoided until the doctor advises otherwise. Swimming is prohibited for a month, and the use of cosmetic and topical products around the eyes is also discouraged until the doctor allows the patient to do so again.

For more information, visit Galileo Surgicenter located at Belson House, 271, EDSA in Mandaluyong City, or contact (632) 721 7135; 726 1667; 721 6412; 726 9815.

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