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Cutting-edge technology, personal service

by Alicia Michioka, business manager

Where do Hawaii’s laser eye surgeons go when they need surgery on their eyes? They go to EyeSight Hawaii, at 3360 Waialae Ave., according to Dr. John Olkowski. “I want to be assured that I am going to be successful more than ‘most of the time’,” said Olkowski, describing his personal involvement in pre-operative and post-operative treatment of patients versus the lack of personal treatment at other laser surgery clinics.

At many local clinics, Olkowski says, the people who do the pre- and post-operation treatment, as well as the screenings, are not the surgeons who perform the actual surgery. According to Olkowski, there currently are cases on the mainland where patients who were screened improperly are now suing the clinics that treated them.

“Patients need to do their homework and research,” Olkowski said “Don’t assume that Lasik in one place will be the same at another.” Pre and post-operation treatment is important to Olkowski who screens all of his patients and handles all postoperative care himself.

Olkowski said, “If I am going to be lasering someone’s eyes, I want to know what is going on with the development of my patients eyes. I don’t like to be left not knowing exactly how I am going to laser a patient’s eye.” “I love when people ask me that,” said Olkowski when asked about his prices.

Olkowski believes that you get what you pay for. If someone other than the surgeon does the pre and postoperative work, it may be cheaper, but the surgeon can’t guarantee the results.

At $2,000 per eye, Olkowski’s price is still lower than the $4,500 per eye charged just a few years ago when Lasik was new. Olkowski has managed to keep his prices down and still provide the most recent technology to make eye surgery better. EyeSight Hawaii was the first clinic in Hawaii to bring in the new upgraded laser, the ViSX STAR S3.

He also brought in two new pieces of equipment, the Pupilometer and the Orbscan. All three of these new devices help to improve the patient’s procedure. With the old laser, patients had to stare at a red light for minutes at a time. The upgraded laser digitally locks on to the eye and tracks any movement the eye makes. The Pupilometer has an infrared scanner that helps the doctor see how much the patient’s eyes dilate in the dark.

Click on image for larger view

Some patients whose eyes dilate too much in the dark are not eligible for laser eye surgery because they would experience too much nighttime glare. The Orbscan takes snapshots of the eye at different distances and uses different colors to track how much of the cornea needs to be corrected.

Sight is your most important sense, Olkowski believes. Do you really want discounted treatment? Before choosing a surgeon to perform your laser eye surgery, do your homework and ask questions.



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