Jackson, MS, December 17, 2008 --(PR.com
)-- ‘Tis the season that eye patients choose the gift of better vision. Dr. Connie McCaa prepared for that annual demand by equipping her LASIK Laser Eye Center with the latest technology.
“This always is our busiest time of the year for LASIK,” said McCaa, a nationally recognized LASIK authority who was one of the first physicians in the nation to perform the procedure.
“Patients often get LASIK at this time of year because they receive it as a gift. Others are using up funds left in their health insurance Flex or cafeteria savings plans,” she said. “But I think the main reason this is our busy season is that we all tend to think about improving our lives at year’s end.”
McCaa has performed thousands of LASIK procedures. Although most patients come from across Mississippi, she has had several patients from other states and foreign countries.
Her state-of-the-art equipment on site at her LASIK center Flowood (in metro Jackson) makes it the only iLASIK Certified eye clinic in Mississippi. In this region, most other LASIK physicians rent traveling equipment available to their patients monthly.
“I don’t want my patients to have to wait for vision correction, so we have top LASIK equipment permanently on site,” she said. Ever-improving LASIK technology helps ensure better visual outcomes.
The LASIK Laser Eye Center offers only the most advanced type of LASIK technology, which is wavefront-guided treatment.
McCaa uses the new VISX Wavescan with iris registration and tracking to guide the procedure. The “brains” of LASIK technology, the Wavescan scans the eye, gathering data 25 times more precise than standard measurements for glasses or contacts, according to its manufacturer. No two irises are alike and this machine maps a unique plan for each eye. It helps ensure better night vision and visual acuity.
The next step in LASIK is creating a flap in the cornea (the clear covering over the front of the eye). Traditionally, a mechanical blade (microkeratome) is used for this, which tends to be the source of complications. Instead, McCaa uses the more advanced Intralase FS, a super high-speed femtosecond laser, to precisely create the flap. Using this laser increases accuracy and reduces complications.
To date, McCaa’s LASIK clinic has the only Intralase FS on site in metro Jackson.
Finally, the VISX Star S4 Excimer laser, which also has iris registration and tracking, precisely removes abnormalities in the cornea and reshapes it to correct vision and astigmatism. Data from the Wavescan guides this laser. Tracking allows for accidental patient eye movement and prevents treatment errors.
It also is rare to have a excimer laser on site in Mississippi.
LASIK is a painless or nearly painless procedure. Both the Intralase FS and excimer laser are cool lasers.
McCaa performs LASIK twice a week, on Tuesdays and Thursdays, at the LASIK center. The annual surge in holiday patients has kept her busy through December and is likely to increase again in January, after families give LASIK as Christmas presents on Dec. 25.
McCaa also has an ophthalmology clinic at St. Dominic Hospital in Jackson. Before moving into full-time private practice last December, she resigned from the University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC), where she was director of the Division of Cornea, External Disease, and Refractive Surgery in the Department of Ophthalmology. She was given professor emeritus status, after 25 years at UMMC. She no longer sees patients at that medical center. Board certified in ophthalmology since 1983, McCaa also has a Ph.D. in biochemistry.
At her St. Dominic Hospital clinic, McCaa now sees patients for cataract surgery, multifocal lens implants, cornea transplants, cornea diseases, eye disorders, eye exams, and pre-LASIK exams. She also receives many referrals from other ophthalmologists to correct their LASIK patients’ complications from the surgical procedure.
McCaa conducts pre-LASIK exams at St. Dominic, where she uses the only Pentacam HR on site in the Jackson area.
McCaa’s first goal is to treat only good candidates for LASIK. The Pentacam HR reads up to 138,000 points in the cornea to detect medical conditions that could indicate LASIK should not be performed. Its 3-D, rotating camera overcomes errors made by older, one-directional scanning instruments.
As LASIK has become commonplace for both nearsighted and farsighted patients who want to see without contacts or eyeglasses, the public has grown savvy about LASIK technology. So McCaa recently updated her Web site at www.ConnieMcCaa.com to show her center’s equipment.
McCaa said having state-of-the-art LASIK equipment at the LASIK Laser Eye Center is a bit of a dream come true. She also finds performing the procedure personally rewarding.
“Vision is pretty universally considered the sense that gives us all the most pleasure,” she said. “LASIK patients are happy patients!”
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