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The COVID-19 pandemic prompted changes in many industries. This is especially true in the healthcare arena. Eye doctors in Tulsa OK, and across the country, are embracing the latest eye surgery innovation to stay efficient post-pandemic.
Indeed, increased efficiency is a first priority. Cataract surgery and new approaches to retinal disease are rapidly evolving even as we’re entering recovery.
Laser eye surgery has long been the standard to correct several vision issues, including nearsightedness. Now, new industry-standard techniques like SMILE are growing in popularity.
Here are the trends in eye surgery innovation as we go forward into post-pandemic recovery.
Advances and new techniques
Several new advances and techniques in eye surgery innovation are becoming preferred options over traditional procedures for eye doctors in Tulsa OK and other areas:
- SMILE (SMall Incision Lenticule Extraction) is gaining popularity over conventional laser surgery. Many doctors compare it to LASIK because it is as effective, equally safe and offers predictable outcomes.
- IBSCS (Immediate Sequential Bilateral Cataract Surgery) is becoming increasingly popular in professional circles. It has several advantages over traditional cataract surgery in terms of faster rehabilitation and cost-effectiveness.
- mTS-CPC (Micropulse Transscleral Cyclophotocoagulation) was developed with the intent to become an alternative to traditional laser eye surgery. It leaves less scarring, making it a preferred procedure for many doctors.
Future trends in eye surgery
By 2025, there will be an increased need for routine eye exams and refractive surgery to meet the needs of the large, aging millennial population. Most of these surgeries will be for age-related eye conditions such as cataracts.
In fact, the number of cataract surgeries is expected to reach 5 million in 2025, up from 3.6 million in 2015. However, the number of ophthalmologists is not expected to see much growth, only about 2% during the same time frame. This means ophthalmologists will need to shift their focus to eye surgery and similar procedures. Optometrists will be required to further expand the amount of medical care they are already providing as a result of the growing demand for surgery and the diminished availability of ophthalmic surgeons.
Changing the cornea’s refractive index by using a femtosecond laser on the corneal stroma is a treatment currently under evaluation. There have been studies that involve human subjects and the results have been promising.
Looking forward, automation and high tech will be the catalysts for eye surgery that is more hands-off for the surgeon but more of a draw for the facility. An office-based service suite may look more like something out of a sci-fi movie. However, the precision and streamlined patient care will have tremendous effects on the successful outcomes of the procedures. Even though technology will continue to improve, the need for surgeons will persist. AI technology can only go so far before it requires human intervention.
Next steps for eye doctors in Tulsa OK and nationwide
While great strides have been made to improve existing eye surgeries and procedures, some techniques and innovations have yet to fully come into their own.
There is a need for more training, more high-efficacy procedures and more innovation to improve quality care. We need technology that will help patients have the best quality of life possible.
Eye surgery is growing in popularity as more patients seek solutions for age-related conditions. They are asking for more and better ways to improve their vision. Science is answering with procedures that offer better value and predictable outcomes.
When you become a provider for Vision Care Direct, you are offering your patients the highest quality care while maintaining competitive compensation for your services.
You can offer the best care for your patients while using the labs and vendors of your choosing. Founded by eye doctors for eye doctors, Vision Care Direct lets you be in charge of your practice.
Plus, with our pre-paid vision plans on comprehensive eye exams, lenses and more, your patients can get the eye care they need at a price they can afford. In fact, we have a special network just for LASIK, giving you the opportunity to make this vision correction surgery more accessible and affordable for your patients.
Contact us today to find out how eye doctors in Tulsa OK and nationwide can become part of the Vision Care Direct family as valued providers.
We put patients – and doctors – first.