Charleston Eye Surgeon to Broadcast “Live” Laser Cataract Surgery

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For many of the eye surgeons attending this years American Academy of Ophthalmology meeting, this educational event will be their first opportunity to witness a laser cataract procedure. While more will become available, only a handful of LenSx lasers are in use in this country and abroad.

Dr. Kerry Solomon performing LenSx bladeless refractive laser cataract surgery

I feel privileged to be selected as one of the surgeons who will be giving many of my colleagues from across the world their first ‘live’ look at this important innovation at work.

When the American Academy of Ophthalmology meets in Orlando this month, an international audience attending the world’s largest meeting of ophthalmologists and other eye care professionals will gather to witness the AAO’s first live broadcast of laser cataract surgery. Nearly 400 miles away in Charleston, eye surgeon Kerry Solomon will be using innovative Alcon LenSx® femtosecond laser technology to perform cataract surgery, the first of four surgical procedures that will be broadcasted live during the October 22 event. Following the procedure, he will fly to Orlando to address the assembled group in person.

For many of the eye surgeons assembled in Orlando, this educational event will be their first opportunity to witness a laser cataract procedure. While more will become available, only a handful of LenSx lasers are in use in this country and abroad. Alcon selected Charleston’s Physicians’ Eye Surgery Center as one of the first sites because of Dr. Solomon’s role in the development of the technology that many see as the future of cataract surgery.

“With the arrival of the LenSx® femtosecond laser, the United States now leads the way with the latest cataract surgery technology,” says Dr. Solomon. “I feel privileged to be selected as one of the surgeons who will be giving many of my colleagues from across the world their first ‘live’ look at this important innovation at work.”

While residents of the Lowcountry will not be part of the audience for this broadcast, the community will be affected by a history-making aspect of the event. Dr. Solomon’s cataract surgery patient will be the first of many to benefit from Operation Sight, a local, newly-formed not-for-profit organization founded by Drs. Kerry Solomon and John Boatwright. They, their colleagues at Carolina Eyecare Physicians, and other medical professionals will provide eye surgery at no cost to uninsured tri-county area residents who fall within the foundation’s guidelines; a number of local optometrists have volunteered to assist with pre- and post-operative care. Prospective cataract patients will be referred through organizations such as Access Health and the Association for the Blind. As more eye care and medical professionals become involved, Operation Sight hopes to make additional services available.

The first Operation Sight patient is a school teacher who has been forced into early retirement by poor vision caused by cataracts. “At only 63 years young, she can no longer see well enough to read or drive, and has no insurance,” says Solomon. “We are hopeful that she can regain her vision and return to her profession and that our community will once again benefit from her talents.”

“Operation Sight is a group of medical professionals who care about our community and aim to empower others by giving them the gift of restored sight. The live broadcast on October 22 will mark the beginning of a new era in cataract correction and the arrival of a new and very important service that will benefit many of our neighbors who literally need a new outlook on life,” Dr. Boatwright adds. “We are grateful for this opportunity to serve our local community.”

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Keri Bogan
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