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Ophthalmology and Eye Surgery

Ophthalmologists on the Greenville Health System (GHS) Medical Staff wear many hats and serve diverse needs, whether rushing to the ER in response to an ophthalmology trauma call or educating patients on the latest laser eye surgery. Serving Greenville, Asheville, Columbia, and areas throughout the Southeast, GHS is one of the region's leading providers of advanced vision care.

Expert Emergency Care

As the only Level I Emergency Trauma Center in the area, Greenville Memorial Hospital (GMH) has ophthalmic surgeons on call to evaluate and treat ocular trauma and other ophthalmic emergencies.  The GHS commitment to 24-hour ophthalmology coverage for the Emergency Trauma Center means upstate patients with vision-threatening injuries and eye diseases have the best chance of avoiding visual disabilities that could dramatically change their lives.

Technology Investments

To provide the best in ophthalmic surgical facilities, GHS has updated its Cross Creek Surgery Center. Eye surgeons performing procedures there have access to OPMI Lumera® microscopes from Carl Zeiss AG, chosen as the top technological innovation by the American Academy of Ophthalmology at its annual meeting. Equipped with Stereo Coaxial Illumination (SCITM) technology, this microscope provides a brighter, sharper, clearer view of the eye – imagery that has been compared to the vividness and resolution seen on a high-definition TV screen. It also offers improved depth perception and detail, richer contrast and a dramatically enhanced red reflex (the reflection from the retina), giving eye surgeons unparalleled visibility during ophthalmic surgery.
 
GHS also has purchased Advanced Medical Optics Inc.’s new WhiteStar Signature™ Phacoemulsification System for cataract surgery. This technology is used to remove lenses clouded by cataracts in a more efficient manner than in previous systems. Its elliptical cutting pattern allows eye surgeons to perform cataract surgery more rapidly and with lower energy levels. This approach translates into greater safety and better vision for patients.

Advances in Ophthalmology

One of the most exciting advances in ophthalmic surgery is intraocular lens (IOL) implants placed at the time of cataract surgery that can correct both distance and near vision, thus reducing the need for glasses postoperatively. In the past, IOL implants could correct either distance or near vision but not both.
 
Ophthalmologists on the GHS Medical Staff are using three FDA-approved presbyopic IOL implants. Each has strengths and weaknesses that cataract surgeons discuss preoperatively with patients to help them choose the implant best suited to their needs.
 
Additionally, there is a role for LASIK eye surgery in this type of refractive cataract procedure. To obtain the best visual result with the presbyopic IOLs, the patient’s postoperative refractive error and stigmatism must be precisely corrected. LASIK surgery, which changes the shape of the cornea, allows the surgeon to achieve that level of refinement by correcting residual refractive error or pre-existing astigmatism. This combined approach is performed for about 10 percent of presbyopic IOLs implant procedures.

To treat patients with astigmatic corneas (corneas shaped like footballs), the eye surgeon can use the IntraLase™ femtosecond laser to make flaps in the cornea before cataract surgery. A few weeks later, the surgeon performs the surgery, implanting one of the presbyopic IOLs. After the eye has healed, the surgeon lifts the LASIK flap and uses the excimer laser to reshape the cornea to correct residual refractive error or astigmatism. Thus, even cataract patients with high amounts of preoperative astigmatism can have presbyotic IOLs, allowing them to see both far and near with minimal need for glasses. 

The expertise of GHS ophthalmology and eye surgery specialists draws patients from Greenville, Asheville, Columbia, and areas throughout the Southeast. For more information or to refer a patient, call Cross Creek Surgery at (864) 455-8400.

Meet Our Physicians

Catherine Baston, M.D.

Specialty: Ophthalmology
Practice: GHS Division of Opthalmology
515 W. Butler Road
Suite A
Greenville, SC 29607
Phone: (864)236-9888

Alan B. Leahey, M.D.

Specialty: Ophthalmology
Practice: GHS Division of Opthalmology
515 W. Butler Road
Suite A
Greenville, SC 29607
Phone: (864)236-9888

Julius W. Welborn III, MD

Specialty:    Ophthalmology
Practice:    GHS Division of Ophthalmology
515 W. Butler Road
Suite A
Greenville, SC 29607
Phone:    (864) 236-9888