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Seeing Clearly... in Just One Visit

 Southern Eye Center in Hattiesburg-Griffith April 03, 2014
By Sara Browning

For more than 35 years Southern Eye Center’s fellowship-trained eye surgeons have helped make changes in patients’ daily lives that they can see. In addition to obtaining their MD and the four years of eye training required for all ophthalmologists, SEC physicians spend an additional one to two years concentrating on one small part of the eye. This allows these surgeons to achieve a very high level of expertise.

Southern Eye Center has always been at the forefront of new techniques. SEC physicians were among the first in the nation to offer phacoemulsification and intraocular implants for cataract removal and to perform all cataract procedures on an outpatient basis. Other achievements for SEC include the opening of the first physician-owned licensed outpatient surgery center in Mississippi, among the first in the nation to implant devices for glaucoma patients, the first in Hattiesburg to own their LASIK laser and the first to offer any laser to Hattiesburg residents. Articles regarding the work performed at SEC have appeared in more than sixty national publications, and SEC has been featured on the 700 Club. SEC doctors have shared their knowledge and expertise by teaching other doctors in virtually every major American city and on almost every continent.

SEC Mission Statement Says It All

“A dedicated team committed to exceptional service and proficiency delivered in a caring and professional manner.” Their team of almost 100 employees offers patients the latest advancements in a broad variety of eye disorders, diseases, and treatments — including cataract, cornea, eyelids, glaucoma, retina, LipiFlow, and LASIK.

Among the first in Mississippi to perform One-Visit Blade-Free LASIK and a pioneer of LipiFlow in the tri-state area, Dr. Cameron S. Griffith has received recognition as a “Mississippi Healthcare Hero” in 2011 by the Mississippi Business Journal. Having served as Chief Resident during his residency at LSUHSC, Dr. Griffith completed fellowship training in cornea and refractive surgery at Eye Consultants of Atlanta, Georgia. He is also a member of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery and the Society for Excellence in Eyecare

Experiencing Renewed Vision With LASIK
LASIK is performed to correct mild to severe nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism by reshaping the surface of the cornea, the front window of the eye. As this area’s only fellowship-trained corneal surgeon offering LASIK (a corneal procedure), Dr. Griffith, in collaboration with his colleague, Dr. Kiper C. Nelson, provides patients the most advanced LASIK procedure: One-Visit Blade-Free LASIK. “Blade-free” indicates that the LASIK procedure uses a laser rather than a knife. By eliminating the surgical blade in LASIK, the most advanced IntraLase laser creates the corneal flap. Blade-Free LASIK’s precision and safety level is so extensive that all branches of the United States Military, including the Air Force and NASA, have approved it for their servicemen and servicewomen. Owning their laser allows SEC doctors to do LASIK every day. According to Dr. Nelson, “Our laser is always available.”

A Closer Look at Blade-free LASIK

Dr. Griffith works with the most advanced CustomVue LASIK technology to customize the patient’s treatment for each eye. Using sophisticated computer-controlled Wavefront technology, Dr. Griffith takes a “fingerprint” image of the patient’s entire optical system and transfers it to the VISX laser. This laser using the Wavefront fingerprint creates a perfectly matched cornea. SEC’s laser uses Iris Registration, a tracking camera, to insure that the eye is properly aligned before a cool laser beam reshapes the cornea to exact computer specifications automatically. According to Dr. Griffith, “CustomVue LASIK allows us to treat defects of the visual system previously untreatable.” In so doing, CustomVue LASIK provides patients the clearest vision possible. With Blade-Free LASIK the healing process is quicker, and structural integrity is stronger, thus leading to less patient discomfort and quicker visual recovery.

Dry, Scratchy Eyes No More
Dry eye is a condition during which the eyes fail to produce enough tears or the right quality of tears to keep eyes feeling healthy, comfortable, and seeing well. “Symptoms include a burning sensation, scratchiness, blurred vision, sensitivity to light, discomfort in windy or dry conditions, redness, eye fatigue, and overall discomfort,” states Dr. Griffith.

Eighty-seven percent of patients with dry eye have meibomian gland dysfunction (evaporative dry eye). SEC has a test known as LipiView that evaluates a patient’s blink rate and the quality of the tear film to determine if the patient will benefit from LipiFlow, a new treatment offered at SEC. According to Dr. Griffith, Lipiflow stimulates oil production through gentle massage and heat therapy. The meibomian glands secrete oils each time a person blinks; these oils coat the watery component of the tears preventing evaporation. If this component is absent, symptoms develop.

The in-office, outpatient treatment taking approximately twelve minutes uses intermittent heat and massage therapy to open the oil-producing glands. Not only is LipiFlow the only procedure that clinically treats the cause — not just the symptoms — of evaporative dry eye, it is also the only treatment approved by the FDA for fast, long-term relief.

Because SEC owns its laser, patients benefit from One-Visit-Is-It. Patients can have their doctor visit, testing, and treatment/procedure all in the same day, meaning less time off work.

“Our goal is for patients to feel relaxed and comfortable during the entire visit. As far as the physicians, nurses, and staff at Southern Eye Center are concerned… your eyes are everything,” states Dr. Griffith.

Dr. Cameron S. Griffith, MD, MS, graduated as an Echol’s scholar from the University of Virginia. He attended medical school at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in Shreveport, where he earned both his Doctorate in Medicine and Master of Science degree in neurpharmocology.

Cover and feature story photos by Mic Fontaine

For more information on Southern Eye Center, visit Southern Eye Center’s main clinic is located at 1420 South 28th Avenue, Hattiesburg, MS, or contact the main clinic at 601-264-3937. The Picayune location is #1 Sycamore, Suite K, Picayune, MS, and the telephone number is 601-251-3937. 
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 Southern Eye Center in Hattiesburg-Griffith| April 03, 2014
Categories:  Feature

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