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At Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center, the Department of Ophthalmology provides comprehensive treatment of almost all eye disorders and emergencies. Our board certified staff of eye surgeons are on call 24 hours-a-day, 365 days-a-year.

The Emergency Department (ED) is fully equipped to diagnose and treat most traumatic eye injuries and the ED staff is well trained in the treatment of minor eye injuries.

The eye surgeons on staff perform over one thousand eye surgeries per year, ranging from cataracts, glaucoma, eye plastic surgery, pediatric eye surgery and retinal surgery. The staff at Good Samaritan includes all the subspecialties of ophthalmology, including a specialist in the treatment of eye disease of premature infants.

Most eye operations are performed as outpatient procedures, the most common of which is cataract surgery. This procedure is performed with state-of-the-art technology using the most advanced lens implants and a "no-patch, no-stitch" technique, which allows patients to resume most normal activities, including driving within one or two days of the procedure. The surgery is performed in Good Samaritan’s modern Ambulatory Surgery Unit (south building) and takes about fifteen minutes to complete. Patients enjoy rapid return of vision and a very pleasant experience in our comfortable facility.

Good Samaritan’s Ophthalmology Department displays a strong commitment to the community and strives to provide the finest treatment possible.

For further information, call the Physician and Health Referral Line at (631) 376-4444.

Ophthalmologic procedures performed routinely at Good Samaritan Hospital:

  • Exam under anesthesia
  • Repair, reconstruction of tear drainage system
  • Repair, reconstruction of eyelid and removal of tumors
  • Plastic surgical repair of eyelid deformities and injuries
  • Orbital exploration and removal of tumors
  • Excision of ocular tumors
  • Glaucoma surgical procedures, including shunts
  • Eye muscle repair and re-alignment procedures: children and adults
  • Correction of ocular surface abnormalities
  • Corneal transplants
  • Cataract extraction using "no stitch, no patch" procedures
  • High order, blue-light filtering intra-ocular lens implants
  • Vitrectomy
  • Retinal detachment surgery
  • Treatment of retinopathy of prematurity

Regular Eye Care is A Family Affair

The importance of regular eye care for all patients, from newborns to the elderly, is the message ophthalmologists are spreading. Many eye conditions and diseases can strike at any age and with no symptoms. Without regular eye examinations, patients with these conditions could be at risk and preventable vision loss could be the result. According to Good Samaritan’s Chief of Ophthalmology Richard Nattis, MD, the very best way to ensure optimum eye health is with regular visits to your eye doctor.

When considering eye health, particular attention should be paid to family history: It’s as important to relay this information to your ophthalmologist, as it is to share it with your primary care physician. In general, the following timetable will be useful for those in good health with no family or personal history of eye disease or disorders. People suffering from a systemic condition (such as diabetes, kidney failure, high blood pressure, arthritic or rheumatoid conditions), a family history of eye disease, those with a personal history of eye injury, and African Americans over the age of forty, may require more frequent examinations and should discuss this with their ophthalmologist. At any stage of life, symptoms such as visual changes or pain, flashes of light, spots or ghost-like images, distortion in lines or edges, dark spots in your central vision, excessive tearing, dryness, burning or itching or an eye injury should be quickly brought to the attention of your ophthalmologist.

Good eye care begins early in life. According to Dr. Nattis, for a normal child with no visual impairment or hereditary problems, vision should be tested sometime before school begins. For the remainder of early childhood, children should continue to have regular testing to ensure that their vision continue to develop normally. A common childhood vision problem is amblyopia ("lazy eye"). While amblyopia is most often associated with crossed or misaligned eyes, it is not always so obvious. (Some children may only have a "wandering eye" when they become tired.) The earlier amblyopia is diagnosed and treated, the better chance that treatment will result in successfully restoring good vision to the amblyopic eye. Best results are attained in children ages one to three with somewhat diminished success by the age of five. Around the age of nine, the development of a child’s visual system is complete and the restoration of vision to the weaker eye is highly unlikely. If you suspect amblyopia, have your child’s vision checked by an ophthalmologist.

From the age of 10 to about 20, normal vision changes can occur rapidly. During this stage, it’s important for parents to be sure and have their child’s vision checked annually. This schedule is especially important for near- and far-sighted patients. Dr. Nattis recommends it sometime before the start of every school year – it’s easy to remember to make the appointment, and best ensures accurate vision for the academic year. From young adult to around age 40, biannual eye exams are recommended to check vision and to screen for glaucoma and cataracts.

The most common eye problems affecting people are refractive errors: nearsightedness (myopia), far sightedness (hyperopia) and distortion (astigmatism). These conditions are usually treatable with a prescription corrective lens, either contact lenses or glasses. Recent developments in technology have also made laser corrective vision surgery an option for many patients. It is recommended that patients with prescription lenses have a complete eye exam every two years. The most common cause of loss of vision in children and young adults is trauma to the eye. Sports injuries and work-related injuries, flying debris from yard work, shop work, splashes from household chemicals and battery acid are common causes of vision-threatening injuries and care should be taken to protect the eyes in such situations.

After the age of 40, eye exams should be scheduled every year, again to check vision and to screen for glaucoma and cataracts. After the age of 40 or so, many people will require reading glasses for close work. This condition, presbyopia, is natural and cannot yet be treated by laser surgery. Mild corrective glasses are usually all that is needed. Annual exams should continue after 65 and will likely include screenings for macular degeneration, as well as glaucoma and cataracts, one of the most common eye conditions affecting older people. Cataracts occur when the lens of the eye becomes cloudy and impairs vision. Cataract surgery, the only treatment, has evolved into a quick, painless procedure with a minimal recovery period and almost immediate return to normal activities. Approximately 80% of all people will develop cataracts in their lifetime and about 50% of those people will require surgery for the condition.

Laser Vision Correction

Much has been said recently about laser vision correction. In this procedure, surgeons actually re-shape the cornea to correct the focus of the eye. Laser vision correction can treat myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism with excellent results. The goal of surgery is to significantly reduce the patient’s dependence on prescription lenses

Much has been said recently about laser vision correction. In this procedure, surgeons actually re-shape the cornea to correct the focus of the eye. Laser vision correction can treat myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism with excellent results. The goal of surgery is to significantly reduce the patient’s dependence on prescription lenses. While 20/20 vision is not guaranteed, it is not unheard of. Patients have two types of laser surgery available to them: Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK) and Laser In-Situ Keratomileusis (LASIK). Each of these procedures involves reshaping the cornea with a laser beam to increase the amount and precision of light falling on the retina. Dr. Nattis explains that there are various types of lasers available, each with its advantages for a particular patient. Your ophthalmologist will decide which is right for you. Laser procedures are quick (about ten minutes per eye) and painless. The patient can elect to have both eyes "done" at once or at separate appointments. Most insurance does not cover the procedure. Patients considering laser vision correction should discuss whether they are a good candidate for the surgery with their ophthalmologist.