Eye Care Specialist SC

10 Questions to Ask When Choosing an Eye Care Specialist/Surgeon

Your vision is priceless. When you need anything from a routine eye exam to a complicated eye surgery procedure, how do you decide whom to trust? First, educate yourself. Ask questions. We suggest the following:

1. How long has the doctor or clinic been in practice?

Look at the doctor's years of experience, as well as when his or her practice was founded. Ask also about the total patient base. Eye Care Specialists was founded in 1985 by Drs. Norman Cohen and Robert Sucher. Since then, more than 130,000 people have turned to us for cutting edge technology and expert personalized care in the medical, surgical and laser treatment of everything from cataracts and glaucoma to crossed eyes and diabetic retinopathy. We have provided refractive and laser vision correction services to thousands of patients since 1992.

2. Does he/she practice alone or with a team?

Our five ophthalmologists and one medical optometrist live and practice in the Milwaukee area—ensuring patients the benefit of qualified, 24-hour back-up coverage, as well as the sharing of questions, techniques and ideas.

3. Are their skills and services well-rounded?

When evaluating practices, try to look at patient volume, surgeon skill, and breadth of services. For example, Eye Care Specialists is regarded as one of the leading cataract surgery practices in Wisconsin in terms of both volume and exceptional skill. Our physicians have performed tens of thousands of cataract procedures, and are often asked to turn the operating room into a teaching environment for visiting doctors and lens implant and equipment manufacturers. Our physicians have been state pioneers in new surgical techniques and devices, including phacoemulsification (ultrasonic) and topical anesthesia (eye drop) cataract removal, and were the first eye surgeons in Wisconsin to utilize foldable lens implants to correct vision. In addition to cataract operations, our surgeons have performed countless other procedures requiring equal or greater expertise, including eye muscle surgeries, corneal transplants, retinal repairs, ophthalmic plastic surgery, laser vision correction to reduce the need for glasses or contact lenses, and medication injection and laser therapy for diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration and glaucoma. By being well-rounded in skills, an eye care specialist can help patients and their family members now, and when they develop other issues as they age.

4. Do they maintain certification?

Our physicians are diplomates of the American Academy of Ophthalmology and have received certification from the American Board of Eye Surgeons (ABES) for surgical skill in the field of cataract/implant surgery. ABES is a non-profit organization that operates a voluntary, peer-based examination, assessment and certification program for quality ophthalmic surgical care. As part of ABES' rigorous evaluation process, our surgeons had to record and submit data from hundreds of cataract/implant cases, as well as perform surgery for evaluation by an on-site observer and videotape review panel. Our surgeons are among approximately only 200 ophthalmologists in the U.S. awarded ABES certification. Our doctors have also served as Clinical Investigators in FDA studies on the safety and effectiveness of laser vision correction.

5. Where do they perform surgery and procedures?

Whenever medically appropriate and possible, we perform diagnostic and treatment procedures in-office for patient convenience and cost-effectiveness. Examples of this include OCT laser scans to detect early signs of glaucoma, fluorescein angiography (dye-mapping and photography) of the back of the eye to track diabetic retinopathy, and corneal topography (scanning and mapping) measurements to set surgical parameters for laser vision correction.

For more advanced surgical and laser procedures, we conduct surgery at the Eye Surgery & Laser Center of Wisconsin, located in Milwaukee County Research Park near the Zoo. This 10,000-square-foot facility has four surgical suites and a state and federally certified sterile operating room for performing laser vision correction. This outpatient surgery center provides the most advanced technology available—in a comfortable, caring environment provided by a handpicked team of nurses with a specialization in eye surgery.

And, for patients whose insurance or other needs require that they receive services elsewhere, our doctors also have surgical privileges at many of our area's finest hospitals and outpatient facilities.

6. What equipment do they use?

Our surgeons have tested nearly every type of equipment at local facilities and have selected exactly what works best for them. We utilize some of the finest machines available for performing cataract surgery, glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy laser treatment, laser vision correction, and other procedures. All of this adds up to excellent patient outcomes.

7. What types of patients have they helped? Can I speak to any?

Eye Care Specialists has improved the vision of countless Wisconsinites from all walks of life, including pilots, engineers, lawyers, accountants, teachers, dishwashers, nurses, working mothers, college students, Olympic skater Dan Jansen, former radio personalities (WKTI's "Lips" LaBelle and Debbie Lazaga, WJMR's Amy Fox, and WMIL's Ben Walker and Rick Evans), and more than 70 fellow physicians and their family members. Want to ask them a question? We'll put you in touch.

8. Are they committed to education?

Eye Care Specialists is one of the only ophthalmology groups in the country to publish its own series of educational booklets on cataracts, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, dry eyes, macular degeneration and laser vision correction. We have distributed more than one million booklets and handouts free-of-charge to senior centers, retirement communities, civic groups, health care professionals, and other individuals/organizations in need of information. We also frequently conduct free slide presentations and vision screenings. . . . Through education, we hope to help all Wisconsinites to seek and receive the best possible eye care.

9. Do they work with referring physicians and professionals?

Since 1985, Eye Care Specialists has conducted extensive continuing medical education training for area health and senior care professionals. This includes bi-annual all-day conferences for 120+ optometrists from throughout southeastern Wisconsin. We often have doctors-in-training visit our offices and follow our staff members. And, we regularly publish newsletters and updates for the medical community. We are happy to answer referring physicians questions and are readily available for phone consultations and co-management of cases.

10. What type of insurance and financial aid do they accept?

Eye Care Specialists’ surgeons believe that money should never be an issue to prevent someone from achieving and maintaining their best possible vision. As such, we accept most major insurances, HMOs and Medicare. We are also participating providers in the American Academy of Ophthalmology’s EyeCare America®: Seniors EyeCare Program, Diabetes EyeCare Program, Glaucoma EyeCare Program and Children’s EyeCare Program. For LASIK and other elective vision correction procedures, we have special surgery coordinators to assist with researching financing program, flex plan, and insurance options.

For more information or a comprehensive examination . . .

Since 1985, Eye Care Specialists has provided comprehensive medical, surgical and laser care for virtually every eye condition to more than 130,000 people in southeastern Wisconsin. If you would like detailed booklets/handouts on cataracts, diabetic eye disease, dry eyes, flashes & floaters, glaucoma, macular degeneration, or other eye-related topics, please contact our Communications & Education Department at 414-321-7035. To schedule a comprehensive eye evaluation, call any of our three convenient Milwaukee-area locations directly.