Bob pointing at his eye

We get feedback from our patients, but some of our favorites come from our friends.

Bob Watson, the owner of Patient Education Concepts, could have gone to over 8,000 ophthalmologists when it came time to have his femtosecond laser cataract surgery.  He came to us. Read his touching letter below and learn about having cataract surgery after having refractive surgery (like LASIK, RK) earlier in life!

Here is his letter to us.

January 23, 2016

Author: Robert Watson

RK Patient Has Laser Cataract Surgery

I had Radial Keratotomy in 1982. Dr. Rick Baker was the doctor that took care of me. That was 34 years ago. My experience with RK was a life changing and career changing event. As a television production grad at the University of Houston, I decided to make a patient education video on Radial Keratotomy; then one on Cataract Surgery; then one on Glaucoma; and then more on just about every eye topic there is. I now have over 8,500 ophthalmologists in my customer files. Needless to say, there were hundreds of cataract practices and surgeons that I have come to know over the years.

But when it became obvious that it was time for me to step up to the cataract surgery table and have mine removed, there was one practice at the top of my “best-of-class” list, and that was Slade & Baker Vision Center.

One of the most compelling reasons for my choice was my knowledge of Dr. Slade’s highly acclaimed reputation in the industry. He was the first in the US to perform LASIK. He was the first in the US to implant the Crystalens IOL. He was the first in the US to perform Laser Cataract Surgery. He is the doctor that hundreds of eye surgeons have selected over the years to perform surgery on THEIR eyes.

So it was a no brainer, he would be the first in the US to perform laser cataract surgery on MY eyes.

Having “non-virgin” corneas, as they say about those of us that have had previous corneal refractive surgery such as RK and LASIK, it can make it much more difficult to predict how patients with compromised corneas like mine will see after cataract surgery. With RK, my corneas changes my ability to focus clearly from morning to night. And the 16 RK incisions that go all the way to the outer margins of my cornea can make creating the initial incisions even more challenging.

Dr. Baker had me come in for extensive testing…Sonia kept moving me from one $50,000 dollar diagnostic machine to another $50,000 diagnostic machine for over an hour. Next, Dr. Baker performed a refraction and a dilated eye exam. Dr. Slade then took an extensive look at my retina and the RK incisions in my cornea. For the next 15 minutes, Dr. Slade and Dr. Baker went through all the test results, working as a perfect partnership in making a decision to implant a Crystalens to render my non-dominant eye at -1D to give me excellent computer and distance vision without glasses. And, the accommodating effect of the Crystalens IOL would help to offset the daily cornea changes caused by the RK incisions.

Dr. Baker was on vacation on the day of my surgery. But that did not stop his concern about me. Before I came in, he and Dr. Bennett Walton had an extensive conversation about the power of the IOL I would receive, now making it a unanimous decision of three of the best minds in the business.

I have interviewed over 200 cataract patients in my patient education video business and every one of them would say, “the surgery was a piece of cake.” I now know they were not making that up. It was over before I knew it. ZERO pain. I went home, and slept for 3 hours. Woke up, had dinner with a glass of wine, went to sleep at 9:00 PM and did not wake up until 8:00 AM the next morning.

I could not believe how well I could see in the operated eye. It was a bit blurry and a little hazy. At my 11:00 AM follow-up appointment, I measured 20/25 and the eye was healing nicely. On the way home, we stopped at an optical shop and I had them replace the left lens in my glasses with a clear, blank lens, as I no longer needed correction for that eye. By that evening, the haze was gone and I was reading subtitles on the TV from 20 feet away…perfectly clear! Another quote I always heard while interviewing patients was that they couldn’t wait to get their second eye done and that is exactly how I feel now!

Cataract surgery has evolved to become one of the safest and most successful procedures performed in medicine today. Laser Cataract Surgery with the many advanced IOLs such as the Crystalens and various multifocal and toric lenses has greatly enhanced the visual results and lifestyles of us baby boomers who are developing cataracts at this stage in our lives.

As I was walking into the operating room, my wife said, “Good Luck!” and I just laughed and said to myself, “There is no luck involved with having cataract surgery when you go to the right doctors, who have the best technology, that really and truly care about each and every patient they see. These guys create routine miracles every day of their lives and go home every night with huge smiles on their faces knowing they have helped thousands of people just like me restore their vision and enhance the enjoyment of their lives

Thank you to the entire staff at Slade & Baker Vision Center. You all played a part in my miracle and for that I will be forever grateful.


Bob pointing at his eye

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