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Joel Hunter MD Blog

   

Hunter Vision introduces Central Florida to newest lens in cataract and refractive surgery

2/27/15 2:38 PM / by Shawn Romano posted in lasik

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Orlando, FL— Drs. Joel Hunter and Jason Brinton are Central Florida refractive eye surgeons practicing at Hunter Vision — a refractive eye surgery practice dedicated to treating patients with some of the most advanced technologies and techniques the field has to offer.


According to Dr. Brinton, a refractive lens specialist, there are many reasons a patient may not be a great candidate for LASIK surgery. Fortunately, for those patients there are other wonderful procedures available to correct vision. Dr. Brinton says, “Often patients will come to our office with the idea that LASIK can fix all of their vision issues. While LASIK is an amazing procedure with incredible outcomes, it has limitations when the vision issue is caused by an aging lens inside the eye.” For those patients who are usually over the age of 40, refractive lens exchange or cataract surgery can be a great option to correct and restore both near and distance vision.

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To Those Who Worry They Could Go Blind from LASIK

5/1/14 2:34 PM / by Joel Hunter MD posted in lasik, Technology, Vision Facts, contacts, blindness, Eye Care, laser

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Braille

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Should I wait to get LASIK until the technology improves?

4/29/14 2:49 PM / by Joel Hunter MD posted in lasik, Technology, Q&A

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Man Waiting on Bench

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Autorefractors: Rise of the Machines

4/17/14 2:35 PM / by Joel Hunter MD posted in Technology

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autorefractor

If you've ever been to an eye doctor, put your face in a machine, and been asked to stare straight ahead, chances are it was either an auto refractor that quickly measures your prescription for glasses, or that it blew a puff of air in your eye and made you hate eye doctors forever. If it was the second one, I am sorry. That machine, called a non-contact tonometer, measure the pressure inside the eye and used to terrify me when I was a kid. What's worse, I found out decades later, it's not even super accurate! There are much more accurate, less terrifying ways to check eye pressure. The Hunter Vision mission statement is that we will love patients well, and never shoot a surprise jet stream of air at their eye. I think that's it, anyway. I don't have the exact wording here with me.

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Is LASIK a good name for a pet?

4/11/14 2:37 PM / by Joel Hunter MD posted in lasik, Q&A

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lassie

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My First Experience Performing LASIK Surgery

4/10/14 2:38 PM / by Joel Hunter MD posted in lasik, surgery, Technology

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Amazingly, or frighteningly, an ophthalmologist is only required to have a weekend course on LASIK in order to be certified to perform the procedure. There are no boards exams for LASIK. It is part of the reason that the "see how many procedures your surgeon has performed" can be useful advice. Of course, it is still possible to do a bad job thousands of times (I once had a haircut from a lady at Great Clips that made me look startlingly like Hitler even though she probably did a thousand haircuts that week), but it is a lot less likely. The reason I chose to spend a year with Dr. Durrie, is that I wanted to be really, really good at LASIK before I started doing it on my friends and family.

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What makes someone a non-candidate for LASIK?

4/4/14 12:58 PM / by Joel Hunter MD posted in lasik, surgery, astigmatism, Q&A

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eye_hiding

About once a week I will see a patient who was told that they are a good candidate for LASIK, but actually should probably avoid getting it. Several times a week, however, I'll see a patient that was told that they wouldn't be a good LASIK candidate, but is actually a great candidate. Most commonly, the person told they shouldn't have LASIK was given "astigmatism" as the reason.

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Why You Shouldn't Choose LASIK Based on Price

4/3/14 12:54 PM / by Joel Hunter MD posted in lasik, surgery

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gas_prices

The other day, I had a patient that had a lot of questions about price. In general, I try to avoid this discussion because something feels "icky" to me about a doctor talking money with a patient. I've done everything I can to avoid the misconception that I ever recommend a treatment because of money. Although it is understandable to consider all angles as a buyer of anything expensive, the truth is the cost of a procedure has 0% to do with the medical side of the practice. An eye is either an amazingly good candidate for LASIK, a candidate with some extra details to discuss (e.g. "you might take an extra day to get to 20/20 afterwards because of such and such"), or not a candidate. My definition of non-candidacy is always the same: "Would I do LASIK on this person if they were a family member?" If the answer is "no" or "hmmm…maybe?" then I tell that person they should not get laser vision correction.

But money is important because we need it to live since the year isn't 10,000 BC. Then I would say wheat is important. So money questions need to have good answers. And this nice lady had a lot of money questions. In particular, she wanted me specifically to answer why 3D LASIK here at Hunter Vision costs more than most of the other LASIK places she's looked at. It meant that I had to articulate the reasons in a way that I don't normally, and it turns out it was helpful for me as well. Sometimes it's a good exercise to explain something you understand to another person, because it makes you more aware of the details yourself. This is understood by anyone who's had a 4-year-old ask them why fish can breathe underwater.

The main point, I realized as I talked to her, was helpful enough to both of us that I thought I'd write it out here in a blog. It costs a certain amount to run a business because things like office space and great employees and equipment cost money. Lasers, for instance, have costs measured in hundreds of thousands of dollars, and then measured in thousands of dollars to use each day even after you own them. In order to be able to pay for all of these "fixed costs" (is that the right word? I think it is. I should ask Josh.) the money coming in has to be at least equal to them. Gosh, this is boring me to death. I would have made the worst businessman. Just read this last paragraph and we can move on to better blogs about interesting things like how eyes work.

When Josh and I opened Hunter Vision, there was the choice to have me, as the surgeon, involved in details of helping patients and the general experience here, or to hire people to do all that while I just fire the laser. If you hire people to do that, as is common in most of medicine, you can see way more patients and charge them some percentage less because there are so many of them. But, I want to be there for people. That's why I became a doctor. So I spend a lot of time with each patient. I'm the one that personally and neurotically checks each measurement that will determine their treatment. I make sure each patient can email me or call my cell phone at any time they need. I sleep less, but sleep better when I —the guy doing the surgery—am crafting every step before, during, and after surgery. And you know what? People see better because of that. There is a level of nuance that can't be delegated. The only downside to it is that we can help fewer people because I only have 24 hours in a day. But wow, do I feel better about it than having discount prices because we pushed as many LASIK and cataract patients as possible through our clinic.

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Do you have any eye surgery day rituals?

3/28/14 12:58 PM / by Joel Hunter MD posted in lasik, surgery, Cataracts, Q&A

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The other day, someone asked if I have any eye surgery day rituals. Well, obviously there's the one where I have Alpha-Bits cereal for breakfast and eat only the letters J, O, E, and L, but that qualifies as less of a ritual and more as an example of just being prepared.

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What eye technology do you most want to see advanced?

3/27/14 12:59 PM / by Joel Hunter MD posted in Technology, Cataracts

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eye_tech

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