Posts Tagged ‘vision’

Three Emory Employees; Three Patient Stories

Paula (left), Eddie (middle) and Robin (right)

I’d like to introduce you to three Emory employees from the Faculty Staff Assistance Program at Emory Healthcare who experienced LASIK here at Emory Vision.

It began with Eddie Gammill, who had his surgery here with us a few years ago and was so thrilled with his results that he proceeded to tell all of his coworkers about his experience.  Eye health is of particular importance to Eddie, not only because he’s the Manager of Wellness Programs for Emory’s Faculty Assistance Program, but also because of his family history—his grandmother was blind.

Eddie felt that LASIK surgery was an incredible opportunity. When interviewed for this blog post, he made a point to say, “I wish I hadn’t waited so long. LASIK surgery is truly one of the greatest things I’ve ever done for myself.”

It didn’t take long for Eddie’s enthusiasm to move Robin Huskey (his co-worker and the Manager of Outreach and Education at FSAP) to consider LASIK as well. Robin wore glasses that always interfered with her passion for water skiing, snow skiing and tennis. She said, “Eddie had such a great experience and spoke so highly of the staff and physicians.”

According to Robin, “The procedure went smoothly, and my vision is great!” In fact, Eddie and Robin’s positive reviews inspired yet another FSAP employee to explore the possibility of LASIK surgery—Paula Gomes, the Director of Wellness Programs.

“Eddie and Robin talked about how LASIK surgery changed their lives,” Paula said. “They were on a campaign to encourage me to think about it.”

Paula had her surgery earlier this year and is delighted to be free of her glasses: “Now, when I wake up in the morning, I’ll look across the room and just gaze at the alarm clock, enjoying my new vision.”

Naturally I’m fond of these stories because I’m an Emory Vision patient advocate. That said—I also think that they demonstrate the extraordinary power of positive word of mouth, something that happens naturally when you give patients only the best of care.


I’ve spent a lot of time looking at the horizon over the past couple days. Right now, with everything turning green around Atlanta, the leaves on the trees are especially lovely to see. But the reason I keep staring at them is that the detail of each tree in the distance is so much greater than anything I remember seeing before. My vision seems far better now than it was before even when I was wearing glasses.

When I’m driving, I keep feeling as if I should be reaching for my glasses, simply out of habit. I don’t have them anymore—I dropped them in the recycling bin. I KNOW that I shouldn’t drive without them, so I reflexively look for them. It’s an odd sensation, but one I’m happy to get used to.

In the days leading up to the surgery, I spent a lot of time thinking about having great vision, but it was only “day of” when I thought seriously about the procedure itself and started to really get nervous. But my wife Eva was with me, and that helped a lot. At one point, I was sitting in the waiting room and woman asked me if I was the guy in the videos on the Emory Vision blog. She said she’d been watching to see how the surgery turned out. We talked about being a little nervous, but I think she was as excited to have the process done as I was.

The folks at Emory were great. They clearly understood that I’d be nervous getting ready, and they carefully explained each step of the procedure, and the follow up as well. Knowing exactly what to expect really calmed me down.

The procedure itself was shockingly fast, painless, and really psychedelic, with lights flashing green and red. I wish I had brought my iPod along, because it was like the best Pink Floyd laser light show ever. I would have played The Great Gig in the Sky for the actual procedure.

The evening of the procedure I sat in the dark and listened to music and a couple podcasts. Emory Vison didn’t put these kind of restrictions on me, but I just thought I’d play it safe. First thing next morning, I got checked out, and got the all clear. Since then, I’ve been applying the eyedrops they prescribed four times a day, but that’s just for a week. My eyes feel normal to me now, except for being able to see for miles and miles.

Day After LASIK

Goodbye to Glasses

Live LASIK Surgery

Be sure to keep an ‘eye’ out for the final results of my LASIK procedure next week!

Day Before LASIK Surgery

Final Countdown to LASIK

I ordered these great new shades this week. I realized I absolutely have to have sunglasses the day of my surgery, so I went ahead and ordered them with two day shipping. I mean, my eyes will be freshly operated on—how can I expose them to unfiltered UV’s? Don’t they look cool?

I’m sure that if I actually need sunglasses for the ride home, Emory will probably supply some for me, or let me know if I need to bring my own. Regardless, it was a good excuse to order some new (non-prescription) sunglasses.

I also went through my stuff looking for old glasses. Even after the frames have broken, or the prescription has gone a little out of kilter, I keep the old ones around so that if I misplace my current ones, I can use the ugly old ones. They won’t do me any good after this week.

Over the past few days, I’ve started doing this weird countdown. This is the last time I’ll go to Your DeKalb Farmer’s Market with glasses. This is the last meeting I’ll lead with glasses. I really, really hope this is the last time I drive the Perimeter in rush hour, with glasses… you get the idea. It’s kind of like the last week of middle school, when you’re getting ready for a big change. I vividly remember really wanting to be in high school, and later wondering how I possibly lived through those miserable years in that dump of a middle school. All the cool kids were in high school– that’s where I was heading. It’s funny how I have the same sort of feeling now, as I get closer to having LASIK surgery.

Myths Surrounding LASIK Surgery

If you’re considering LASIK surgery and consulting your friends and colleagues about it, you may hear a range of opinions. Do you know which is fact or myth? I’m Rhonda Brown, and I’m a certified ophthalmic technician and patient advocate at Emory Vision. In this post, I’ll help you separate LASIK fact from fiction.

MYTH: LASIK should be done once your eyes change in your 40s. As we age, we find it harder to read – a condition called Presbyopia. LASIK has come a long way, and doctors can now treat one eye for distance and one eye for near vision— a process we refer to as ‘blended vision’.  While it isn’t 100% perfect, patients have remarkable improvements in functioning vision for seeing both near and far. Some patients may need glasses for limited tasks such as night driving or reading a menu in low light. However, after surgery, at least 95% of life activities can be enjoyed without glasses.

MYTH: If you have astigmatism, you’re not a candidate for LASIK. This is a common misconception, and definitely a myth.  Having astigmatism means that the eye’s front surface, or cornea, is shaped more like a football rather than a basketball.  In most cases, LASIK can reshape the eye to make it look more like a basketball, which is ideal for improving vision. Technological advances now allow newer lasers to safely treat it.

MYTH: You should get a “lifetime guarantee” on your LASIK procedure. You wouldn’t ask for a lifetime guarantee on your heart valve, would you? The same is true for LASIK. Although it’s elective, it’s still a surgical procedure, and doctors are working with soft tissue that can respond, heal and age differently from person to person.  If a center is offering a lifetime guarantee, consider whether its doors will be open 5 years from now. Sometimes these guarantees are only good if you have poor vision in both eyes – or only for a specific window of time, which is why it’s so important to read the fine print.

TRUTH: LASIK isn’t for everyone. This is true. If you are looking for a guarantee of perfect vision, you may not be an ideal candidate. No one can promise an exact outcome for LASIK surgery, and certain conditions affecting the eye prevent some people from being an ideal candidate. However, according to statistics, nine out of 10 patients can see 20/20 or better following LASIK.

And now I’d love to hear from you—what LASIK-related myths have you heard about? I would be happy to debunk them for you.

Video: Dr. Randleman & Daren

Who Is J. Bradley Randleman, MD?

Dr. Randleman of Emory Vision will be performing surgery on Daren Wang, our Live LASIK candidate, so I thought it would be fitting to tell you a bit about Dr. Randleman’s background.

Since practicing and teaching at Emory, he has trained over 50 physicians in refractive surgery, cataract surgery and corneal transplantation. Additionally, he’s authored 50-60 scientific publications, as well as a handful of book chapters on LASIK and various topics in ophthalmology.

Dr. Randleman has contributed over 50 hours of national lectures and presentations, and he’s the Associate Editor of for The Journal of Refractive Surgery.

Recently, Dr. Randleman’s outstanding skills were recognized on a national level when he was awarded the Secretariat Award from the American Academy of Ophthalmology for his contributions to the field. He was also awarded the prestigious Claes Dohlman Society Award, an honor that is bestowed in the US only once a year to an individual who demonstrates academic and surgical excellence in Cornea and Refractive Surgery training.

Over the span of his career, Dr. Randleman has performed thousands of LASIK procedures. Despite his busy schedule, he always makes a point to meet with his patients personally to analyze their vision and the health of their corneas.

Outside of Opthalmology, Dr. Randleman’s passions include photography and traveling the world.

We feel very fortunate to have Dr. Randleman on the Emory Vision team. Sufficed to say, Daren Wang is in extraordinarily capable hands!

In the near future, I’ll devote a blog post to John Kim, MD, and Maria Woodward, MD—two equally talented physicians that complete our Emory Vision team.