AZAR EYE INSTITUTE RECOGNIZED FOR CATARACT SURGERY EXCELLENCE AS A "2009 & 2010 BEST PERFORMER"
National Ranking administered by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care Institute for Quality Improvement
SALISBURY, MD – AZAR Eye Institute (AEI), founded by Dr. Alex Azar who has practiced ophthalmology in Salisbury since 1976, today announced it has been recognized for cataract surgery excellence by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC) Institute for Quality Improvement as a “2009 Best Performer.” AEI ranked in the top five-percent among 95 eye centers to voluntarily participate in the national benchmark study.
“We have four accomplished ophthalmologists performing up to 1700 cataract surgeries each year in the AEI surgery center, said Dr. Alex Azar, founder and president of AZAR Eye Institute. “By making a few small adjustments to our pre-op and post-op procedures last year, we saw a 37-percent increase in our efficiency rate.”
The AAAHC study measures efficiency based on the amount of time a cataract surgery patient spends from the time they walk in the waiting room to the time they walk out the door after the surgery is complete. The timing of each step of the process from pre-op, operating time, post-op to the time in between cases is recorded and factored into the AAAHC rating.
In addition to the drastic change in technology over the years, AEI has streamlined its cataract services by starting surgery preparation at home. In many cases patients are able to administer the dilating eye drops before they report to the eye center for surgery. An AEI nurse also contacts each patient at home 48 hours prior to surgery to review their health history, answer questions or address any problems they are experiencing related to the cataracts. What historically took many eye centers an hour and a half to accomplish now only takes AEI 20-30 minutes.
Advantages to having cataract surgery in an ambulatory surgery center such as Azar Eye Institute include the level of comfort a specialized doctor brings to the patient in a familiar environment with a familiar staff not counting the hundreds of dollars the patient saves in co-pays compared to having the identical procedure done in a hospital setting.
The Process.. Then and Now
Years ago cataract surgery would require surgeons to make an 11 millimeter incision in the eye in order to remove the entire lens, which would result in at least 10 stitches. Today many doctors have access to an advanced piece of equipment called a phacoemusifier that can remove the cataract through a tiny 2 ½ millimeter incision. The entire lens no longer needs to be removed and stitches are no longer necessary. There is also a new instrument called an IOL Master that measures the eye, allowing doctors to customize the strength of the implant needed to make the vision as clear as possible. Often all of this can be accomplished with just drops for anesthesia eliminating the need for shots!
In order to understand the cataract surgical process, it is best to imagine the eye as a grape. Doctors go through a tiny incision and remove the anterior skin . The emusifier is then used to grind up the nucleus or seed inside the lens. What’s left is the pulp. Another tiny instrument removes the pulp and then the surgeon inserts a tiny folded plastic lens into the remaining capsule. As the plastic lens unfolds, it is captured inside the capsule and the wound becomes self-sealing. Results are immediate and patients can leave the surgery center immediately after the procedure with a clear protective plastic cover that can be removed the next day. Eye drops must also be administered for the next four to six weeks.
The Salisbury Azar Eye Institute campus offers comprehensive eye care at one convenient location. The Winterplace Park location includes a clinical office setting and the surgery center that offers All Laser LASIK, Glaucoma and Cataract surgery. Accurate Optical which is not owned by the Azar Group is an integral part of the Institute and offers one of the largest selections of eye wear and contact lens on the shore along with the latest in house grinding of lens. Retina services are also available at nearby offices. AEI also has an office in Laurel, Delaware. Recently the original barn on Winter Place farm has been remodeled to house the Administrative offices of AEI.
About AZAR Eye Institute
AZAR Eye Institute is a full-service eye care practice. AEI offers Diabetic eye care, treatment of allergies and dry-eye, along with glaucoma and macular degeneration care. Laser procedures such as LASIK, after Cataract surgery and Glaucoma surgery are frequently performed at the Institute as well as Corneal Transplant surgery. For more information visit www.azareyeinstitute.com or call 410-546-2500.