During the two-hour show, Dr. Wang and Dr. Desai also answered callers’ questions. When asked about the differences between laser-assisted cataract surgery and manual cataract removal surgery, Drs. Wang and Desai–who perform hundreds of these surgeries a year–agreed that the treatment outcomes are similar. Dr. Desai shared that the laser-assisted cataract procedure may have shorter recovery times, but she performs many more manual cataract removal surgeries due to the benefits she sees for her patients. Dr. Wang echoed this when she said, “I do manual. I do not do the laser. I do think there is a place for the laser, depending on your situation and your particular eye health and shape… but in general the outcomes are similar.” Dr. Desai did say that, while she and Dr. Wang do not perform the laser-assisted procedure, there are multiple surgeons within Eye Consultants of Atlanta who do, and patients or prospective patients can schedule a consultation through the website to learn more.
When another caller asked about blurry vision after cataract surgery, Dr. Desai explained a few of the many inputs which can affect patients after receiving new lenses. “It’s not uncommon for people to have what we call a refractive surprise after cataract surgery,” she said. “With multifocal or progressive lenses, we expect you to be able to see well at distance, intermediate, and near. And if we can get you to see perfectly at all three distances, that’s amazing. But that’s not necessarily what I’m expecting that lens to do. It should be able to give you good, uncorrected vision, but it might not be crystal clear at all three of those focal points. For people who really want crisp, vision, and low likelihood of halos and glares, those standard lenses work very well at achieving that. The downside of those is that they only correct one of the distances and then people may still need reading glasses potentially, which is what you were trying to avoid.”
She went on to add, “Multifocal lenses can be replaced with what we call standard distance correcting lenses. The further out you are from cataract surgery, the more risky that procedure does become. Ideally, we like to do that exchange within the first three to six months of surgery. It has been done a year out, and it’s not that it’s impossible to do, but there is an added layer of risk. And so it really depends on what your goals are and how bothered you are by your current vision. And if you are willing to accept potentially the risk of things not improving that much significantly after surgery.”
Dr. Desai added that about 30-40 percent of people who have cataract surgery develop scar tissue or a secondary cataract, which may also be a cause of blurred vision post-surgery. For that, she advised that a simple laser procedure can be done to correct the quality of vision.
Dr. Wang and Dr. Desai also discussed macular degeneration during the show. Dr. Desai advised that all people who are at risk for Macular Degeneration can embrace four modifiable risk factors: don’t smoke, keep your blood pressure under control, eat lots of leafy greens, and wear sunglasses.
Both Drs. Wang and Desai also expressed excitement over a new drug treatment option for advanced dry macular degeneration. According to Dr. Desai, there are two types of macular degeneration: wet and dry. She explained, “For several years now, we’ve been able to treat wet macular degeneration with a series of injections. And it has completely revolutionized the way these patients with wet macular degeneration experience vision. People who were previously completely going blind from wet macular degeneration 15 years ago no longer are experiencing that. They’re having great vision, maintaining healthy vision for many more years than they previously were.”
“On the flip side of that though, dry macular degeneration didn’t really have any treatment. And we would talk to people about eye vitamins and risk factor modification, but there wasn’t anything else that we could do to actually treat their condition. And over this past year, a new medication has come out on the market to treat the more severe forms of dry macular degeneration. It’s still in the early phases, so not all centers are using this medication yet. But just the fact that there is something that has now been developed to treat and potentially reverse those severe stages of macular degeneration is incredible. And there’s actually another, similar treatment coming out later this year, pending FDA approval. So, I think we got the ball rolling now on having treatments for macular degeneration and I’m excited to see what else comes out in the next few years.”
Other topics that the doctors tackled during the program were convergence insufficiency, retinal detachment, ectropion, oculoplastics, and floaters or dark spots in your vision caused by shadows from tissue forming in the back of the eye.
Eileen Wang, M.D. is a Board Certified Ophthalmologist. Her areas of expertise include comprehensive eye exams, evaluation of conditions such as cataracts, glaucoma, dry eyes, uveitis, floaters, and macular degeneration, and performing a variety of surgical procedures with a special focus on cataract surgery. Her undergraduate degree is from Penn State University, and her medical school degree is from Thomas Jefferson University. Her internship was at Albert Einstein Medical Center. She completed residency training at the Wills Eye Institute. Dr. Wang joined Eye Consultants of Atlanta in 2019 and practices at the Peachtree Corners and Lawrenceville locations.
Sapna Desai, M.D., is a Board Certified Ophthalmologist specializing in comprehensive ophthalmology and cataract surgery. Her undergraduate degree is from the Illinois Institute of Technology and her medical school degree is from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. She completed residency training at the Medical College of Wisconsin Eye Institute. Dr. Desai joined Eye Consultants of Atlanta in 2019 and practices at the Piedmont Hospital and Brookhaven locations.
Did you miss Dr. Wang and Dr. Desai on “The Weekly Check-Up?” See below for the full segment: https://weeklycheckup.com/2023/08/06/drs-wang-and-desai-of-eye-consultants-of-atlanta/