Park Avenue SafeSight Changes Their Name --- So They’ve Changed Their Email Address and Here’s Why

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Emil Chynn MD, the world’s leader in non-cutting LASEK surgery, is advancing the science of ophthalmology and laser vision correction with his SafeSight technique. Nearly twenty years of dedication to achieving the safest results for his patients, both Dr. Chynn and Park Avenue SafeSight are focusing on a new name and a new outlook for glasses and contact wearers everywhere.

Dr. Chynn was the first eye surgeon in NYC to have LASIK himself (in 1999) because he trained at the #1 Refractive Fellowship in the US from 1996-1997, at Emory University, under the world-famous ophthalmologists George Waring III MD (probably the most famous refractive surgeon in the US), and Doyle Stulting, MD, PhD (past President of ASCRS, the most prestigious society of refractive surgeons in the world), so he was at the forefront of refractive surgery, and one of the first LASIK surgeons in NYC.

Dr. Chynn was also a beta-tester for gmail, back when you needed to be invited to beta-test. So his old gmail address dates back to 2005, when he was still mostly performing the incisional LASIK procedure.

In 2007, Dr. Chynn moved to Park Avenue, and decided to fully transition to the safer Advanced Surface Ablation technique, which had been invented at Harvard by two of his mentors in 1995 (Jon Talamo, MD, and Juan Carlos Abad, MD) with whom he conducted research and published papers.

The problem with their LASEK technique was, although it was demonstrably safer than LASIK, as it totally eliminated any chance of a flap-related complication, which comprises about 90% of all LASIK complications, because they eliminated the flap-cutting step, the recovery was long and uncomfortable.

In essence, a patient choosing LASEK would have to choose better safety over quicker recovery. Not as slow as a PRK, which is the original method of laser vision correction that's been around for 30 years. But still significantly slower and more uncomfortable than LASIK.

(On a side note, the excimer laser, which is used to perform all types of refractive surgery, was invented by Stephen Trokel, MD and Francis L'Esperence, MD, at Columbia, who obtained a use patent for an IBM patent to etch silicon chips--they are the ones who actually credentialed Dr. Chynn on his first PRKs back in the 1990s.)

As a surgeon who wants perfect results every time, Dr. Chynn was biased towards LASEK. As a high-volume refractive surgeon who was performing nearly 1,000 cases per year, the "small" chance of a really bad flap cut by the microkeratome of 0.10 % was still unacceptable--since he was doing 1,000 cases per year, he’d then experience this about once a year (vs most surgeons doing regular volume of 10-100 LASIKs per year never seeing a bad flap complication in 10-100 years, and think that LASIK was perfectly safe and not in need of improvement).

But as a patient who had LASIK himself with good results (except for some permanent dry eyes and night glare), he understood that the average American wouldn't tolerate 2 weeks of pain and inability to work while recovering from PRK, or even the 1 week of moderate pain and no work after LASEK.

There had to be a better way.

So, from 1997 to 2007--an entire decade--Dr. Chynn spent his energy on trying to figure out ways to advance LASEK so that he could retain it's enhanced safety profile, while approaching the speed of recovery and painlessness of LASIK. In conjunction with his colleagues all over the US at meetings, and through the internet (e.g., kera-net) with other MDs around the world, he tried many different adjunctive techniques--some he retained, most he discarded. Yes, each retained "pearl" probably decreased the speed/comfort gap by only 10%--but if he were patient, and could find 10, the gap would be closed.

By 2007, Dr. Chynn was ready to take the plunge, and transitioned his entire practice from the cutting LASIK and IntraLase techniques to 100% non-cutting Advanced Surface Ablation (ASA). At the time, his practice was the only high-volume, 100% non-cutting center in the US. The strange thing is--they still are.

It takes more time & energy seeing patients after LASEK than after LASIK, because the recovery is still a couple of days longer. You have to coach the patients through this period. But it's worth it.

By eliminating the flap-cutting step, Park Avenue SafeSight has eliminated virtually every complication that can occur in the OR (which is why they can have the only glass OR on the sidewalk in the US--because they know each and every case will be major-complication-free).

Park Avenue SafeSight has also eliminated permanent dry eyes and severe night glare, both of which are due largely to cutting the flap. Dr. Chynn’s dry eyes after LASIK were caused by having a flap cut, which cuts most of the corneal nerves, which never grow back, leaving the patient with decreased sensitivity, and thus a reduced blink-- basically drying your eyes out by blinking less frequently. His night glare is attributed to the fact that after LASIK cut his cornea in half, he has a 2-piece cornea, and the interface never fully heals (as evidenced by the way LASIK is enhanced, which is to take a tiny metal toothpick, pop up the flap, and laser again). So every LASIK patient has some degree of reflection, refraction, and back-scatter of light across the flap interface, especially at night, when this glare becomes noticeable.

But not with Dr. Chynn’s procedure, which eliminates not only the risk of cutting a flap in the OR, but the downside of having a 2-piece cornea for the rest of the patient’s life. If you never have a flap cut in your eye, there is no flap to dislocate from trauma, and the eye is as strong afterwards as a normal eye if you get hit in the eye. This is why many professions ban LASIK, but accept surface ablations--such as military special forces, boxers and martial artists, extreme sports, high altitude climbing, etc..

With Dr. Chynn’s non-cutting technique, he can safely treat much higher prescriptions than can be treated with LASIK. When he was doing LASIK, -7.00 would be considered a high Rx, and -9.00 would be his limit. Now, he’s treating patients every day past -10, have treated the worst prescription ever successfully lasered in the US (-22), and presented the largest series of patients worse than -9 to be lasered in the world, at the international ESCRS meeting in Milan in 2012.

Basically, a large percentage of his patients now are people who can't get LASIK, were turned down for LASIK, or have a flap complication from LASIK that needs to be repaired (and can often be fixed by performing a LASEK over the bad LASIK flap)--he published his technique for this in 2011.

In 2010, Dr. Chynn were granted a trademark by the US Patent and Trademark Office for SafeSight, which is the unique, advanced form of LASEK and epi-LASEK (Park Avenue SafeSight is the only center performing epi-LASEK in NYC, because they are the only center with an epi-keratome) that Dr. Chynn exclusively performs.

Now, Dr. Chynn is trying to find a well-trained ophthalmology resident to complete his Refractive Fellowship Program (Park Avenue SafeSight has the largest program in the US), and hand over the reigns to him (or her) because he is trying to find time to work on his 3 ophthalmology patents, but doesn’t want to abandon the tens of thousands of patients in the US who want to be treated, but can't get LASIK (or need a LASIK fixed).

So this is a very long explanation as to why Dr. Chynn used topLASIKdoc@ for a decade, but is now finally switching to a new address that better reflects what he’s actually doing now, and more accurately describes the unique technique being performed at Park Avenue SafeSight that people are literally flying into NYC from all over the globe to experience and benefit from: SafeSightSurgeon(at)gmail(dot)com.

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Elizabeth Wick
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