Advertiser content for Wollongong Refractive Laser Eye Institute.
When you combine the latest advancements in state-of-the-art technology with experts who know how to use it, the outcome is excellence.
This is what is taking place at Wollongong Refractive Laser Eye Institute.
Ophthalmic surgeon at the Institute, Clinical Associate Professor Smita Agarwal, is a refractive surgery specialist who has conducted thousands of corrective eye procedures during her extensive career.
Dr Agarwal is the Head of the Ophthalmology Department at Wollongong and Shellharbour Public Hospitals, teaches at the University of Wollongong, teaches eye surgery to registrars and interns, conducts medical education seminars for doctors, has published research papers, presented at national and international ophthalmology seminars and devotes hours to private study.
“I attend training, national and overseas conferences, skills courses, speak to peers and I keep aside Sunday morning to read journals,” Dr Agarwal said. “I’ll attend a course if I’m learning new technology and see somebody performing it hands-on.”
She has seen the developments made in the world of ophthalmology and watches it closely in order to offer the best to her patients. This skill and knowledge is available locally for the Illawarra and Shellharbour communities, with Dr Agarwal now conducting surgery at the Wollongong Refractive Laser Eye Institute, meaning patients can stay close to home and not travel to Sydney or Canberra.
The latest technology
With technology constantly improving and software being upgraded, the machines available at Wollongong Refractive Laser Eye Institute are the best you can get in the world. They offer Lasik, PRK and SMILE technologies, with each suiting the differing needs of patients.
SMILE, or Small Incision Lenticule Extraction, is considered the most cutting-edge laser eye surgery available today.
“SMILE is being taken on by more and more surgeons,” Dr Agarwal explains. “It’s quicker, using only one laser. Patients don’t get fatigued, the cornea doesn’t get dehydrated.”
The procedure itself takes less than 10 minutes and recovery times is minimal. The advanced software means that no flaps are made on the cornea, just a tiny incision made by the laser.
“A tiny lenticule [thin tissue of the cornea] which is accurately calculated based on the patients’ refractive error is then extracted manually.
“We are seeing much better and more accurate results, with the cornea much more stable in higher refractive error patients.”
With much more skill required to conduct the surgery, Dr Agarwal has been training at home and overseas, plus undergoing continued practical learning so she could introduce this new advancement for her patients.
The best results
With such expertise and the best technology, you’ll get top results. But of course, the proof of its effectiveness comes from the patients who have undergone treatment. And they are brimming with positive feedback.
“Patients are loving it,” Dr Agarwal said. “They often say ’Is that all? Why was I worried?’ after the procedure.”
“They walk out of here with the best possible vision. They cannot stop smiling - it’s life-changing for them.”
Wollongong Refractive Laser Eye Institute Lasik patient Summah, of Ulladulla, agrees.
“I can see stars, dolphins playing in the waves, and the moon at night. I’m taking my son and dogs travelling in a bus, which is something I wouldn’t have been able to do prior to surgery,” Summah said.
On the day of the procedure she says she was nervous but “the staff were all so calm and kind, it helped me relax. The surgery itself was very quick, painless and I recovered much faster on the day than I thought I would.”
“After three weeks I had full clear vision.”
And the team’s expertise and knowledge keeps patients like Leslie, of Wollongong, who was treated with SMILE, feel right at ease.
“I wasn't feeling too nervous until I got onto the operating table which was when my heart started racing…But once the surgery was underway, I just listened to Dr Agarwal's instructions and it was pretty smooth after that,” he said.
Even after almost a decade performing surgery, Dr Agarwal still finds each procedure rewarding.
“We have brought the latest technology to the area, at competitive prices, with experienced surgeons and trained staff. I am quite proud to be able to do that.”
This is advertiser content for the Wollongong Refractive Laser Eye Institute.