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OC Eye Doctor Offers Safer, More Accurate Methods in Laser Vision Correction

Dr. Richard Weiss invited to present research findings for new device at three international meetings.

NEWPORT BEACH, CA – New techniques and inventions in laser vision correction recently developed by Dr. Richard Weiss mean the procedures are not only safer and quicker but more accurate as well.

The board-certified ophthalmologist, who also is a clinical assistant professor at UC Irvine, was invited this year to present his findings at the annual meetings of three of the world’s most prominent groups of laser vision surgeons:
European Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons in Nice, France in September 1998
International Society of Refractive Surgery in Orlando, Fla., in July 1998
American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery in San Diego in April 1998
Laser vision correction for near-sightedness, far-sightedness and astigmatism is becoming so mainstream it’s almost like getting braces, Weiss noted, adding that the number of people who have the procedure is more than doubling each year.
One reason it’s growing in popularity is that the results are so great: In trials by the FDA, the national review board that oversees laser use for eye surgery, laser vision correction for near-sightedness has advanced to the point where 96% of the patients were able to legally drive without glasses. Also, more than half were able to see 20/20. And it’s quick – usually taking less than 60 seconds, sometimes as little as 15 seconds.

But Weiss believes that even these results can be improved.

Until now, for instance, there was no device available to accurately measure the position of the cornea’s surface. Weiss has invented such a device, which overcomes a complication that could result in over-correcting near-sightedness or under-correcting far-sightedness.

The international eye surgery community also has picked up previous methods and devices created by Weiss.

He is the co-developer of a rotary brush used in preparing the surface of the eye prior to surgery. Recently, the FDA added its stamp of approval to the ideas pioneered by Weiss by mandating the tool’s use in certain surgeries.

A newer version of his brush-type invention prepares the surface of the eye for correction of far-sightedness and leaves the central portion of the cornea untouched, leading to greater safety and earlier recovery of vision.

Last spring in San Diego, Weiss presented a paper on an improved, three-dimensional method for precisely centering the laser beam on the surface of the cornea during surgery. After identifying the problem, which left a lot of room for error, he had conducted investigations with two of the laser manufacturer’s scientists. “Through our original research, we now have developed instructions that make the procedure more accurate, no matter which laser or surgical option we’re using,” the physician added.

Weiss has been a leader in eye surgery – including laser vision correction and cosmetic eyelid and eyebrow procedures – in Southern California for more than 13 years.

Because of his expertise, Weiss was invited while in Johannesburg, South Africa, in 1995, doing advanced laser research, to perform a complex reconstructive eyelid procedure for President Nelson Mandela. The doctor used a special technique to successfully clear the president’s tear-duct obstruction.

In addition to his travels in Africa, Weiss has demonstrated surgical techniques in Barbados, Haiti and India. He became aware of the desperate need for help with proper eye care in developing nations and founded the One World Sight Project , a nonprofit organization devoted to curing blindness around the globe.

Weiss received his undergraduate degree from New York University and completed advanced training at Temple University School of Medicine, the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Georgetown University and the University of Toronto. At UC Irvine, he lectures on microsurgical techniques. He also serves on the Refractive Surgery Committee at Beckman Laser Institute & Medical Clinic in Irvine