Dr. Douglas Katsev, a board certified ophthalmologist at Sansum Clinic's Laser Eye Care Center trained in cornea refractive surgery at the prestigious Jules Stein Eye Institute at UCLA and has been offering his expertise and specialized skills to the Santa Barbara community for more than twenty years. He introduced the IntraLase® laser to Sansum Clinic patients which allows a flap to be made in the cornea without a blade and is the only such device in the area. He also uses the DSEK laser which is the most popular procedure among refractive surgeons in the United States. Dr. Katsev enjoys discussing the rapidly advancing field of eye surgery and the expanding range of options he is now able to offer his patients.
Good Health: How does laser eye surgery work?
Dr. Katsev: Most people are familiar with the term LASIK, an acronym for laser-assisted intrastromal insitukeratomileusis. LASIK is a way of reshaping the cornea using a laser so light rays can focus more precisely on the retina, improving vision.
Good Health: Who can benefit from lasik?
Dr. Katsev: Just about everyone can benefit - especially those with nearsightedness, farsightedness and those with astigmatism. Also people that find they cannot read if they have successfully used monovision contact lenses can have LASIK to read without glasses.
Good Health: Is there an alternative for people with a cataract?
Dr. Katsev: Yes, the intraocular lens. With the newer lens available, we can remove the cataractous lens and replace it with intraocular lens that corrects the patient's vision at the same time. Lenses have improved such that you can correct them so they see both distance and near. Most patients can read and drive without glasses which most people are excited about.
Good Health: What is Intralase®?
Dr. Katsev: It is a computer-guided, bladeless laser used to achieve precision before we do the laser procedure to reshape the cornea. It makes the flap which is very important for quick recovery of vision without scarring. Surprisingly some people in Santa Barbara still use the blade to do this important part of the procedure. I have used IntraLase for seven years and have had great success.
Good Health: Is there anything else new in corneal transplants?
Dr. Katsev: There is a new procedure called the "big bubble" that can be used during corneal transplant. It essentially allows the surgeon to not replace the whole cornea, which we presently do, but only remove the diseased part and preserve the part that is useful. It allows for quicker recovery and a better postoperative refractive result.
Good Health: What makes you unique?
Dr. Katsev: I speak at events across the United States and abroad on laser surgery, which allows me to be current on what is going on in laser refractive surgery. Companies come to me first to evaluate new ideas, equipment and procedures. We are in the forefront of the industry, applying the best technologies available. Also, I like to operate in the evenings, because afterwards, it is good to close your eyes for about twelve hours and let things heal.
Good Health: What is the best part of your job?
Dr. Katsev: I love making people happier. Often I meet somebody who is scared and thinks they are losing their vision, and I am able to give that back to them - plus more than they anticipated. Their positive reaction is very satisfying for me. I have such a great time at work.
Good Health: What makes sansum clinic special?
Dr. Katsev: We are the only local ophthalmology group that has specialists in multi-disciplines. That allows us to excel in our specialty and gives us access to other top specialists. I make myself accessible to all patients and they have my cell number, so I am easy to reach. If you would like to schedule a consultation with Dr. Katsev, please call (805) 681-8951.