When you experience a traumatic eye injury, there’s an immediate emotional as well as physical toll. But what happens when you are told your symptoms can’t be fixed? That was the reality for Deborah Fontana and Iriondo Serrano, two different people from different states, who both faced the same prospect of life with reduced vision after each being in serious car accidents more than 20 years ago. They suffered damage to the iris, which controls how much light the eye lets in. If you have ever experienced bright sunlight after having your eyes dilated at the eye doctor, imagine living like that for the rest of your life.
While each was fortunate to emerge from the accidents alive, they both faced their own difficulties. Deborah, from Texas, and Iriondo, from Georgia, both needed to wear sunglasses daily to reduce the amount of light their eyes received due to iris loss, which along with cataracts, created irritating and painful aberrations in vision. This was a major quality of life issue for both patients.
At the time, and over the following years, each was told by physicians that no treatment was available. They were finally referred to Dr. Stephen Hamilton, a cataract surgery and cornea specialist with Eye Consultants of Atlanta, one of the few ophthalmologists in the United States able to perform a new and advanced surgical procedure, which replaces the missing iris tissue with an artificial iris that is custom created by artists to match the fellow eye.
We are thrilled to report that both patients are finally able to experience relief from their symptoms, thanks to the combination of cataract surgery and the artificial iris implanted by Dr. Hamilton. Deborah, who flew from Texas with her husband to see Dr. Hamilton, was greatly impressed with Dr. Hamilton’s quality of care and bedside manner, as well as the professionalism of his staff. Iriondo and his wife were similarly impressed with the care they received and commented that his vision had dramatically improved only a week after the surgery.
We’re happy for both patients, and wish them the best going forward while they experience life more clearly for the first time in years. For more information on Dr. Stephen Hamilton, please see his profile.