Source: Eye Medical Center of Fresno
On July 17, 2013, Dr. Ghajar, cataract & corneal specialist, became the first local surgeon to implant a tiny telescopic lens in the eye of one of our patients at the California Eye Institute at St. Agnes. Patient E.T. was referred to Dr. Ghajar by Dr. George Bertolucci, his retina specialist. The telescopic lens has been FDA approved and now accepted by Medicare as a covered procedure for patients with end stage dry macular degeneration. The surgical procedure went well and was covered by ABC’s Margot Kim. The patient is currently undergoing surgical recovery and will be working with Dr. Joe Figazolo his low vision optometrist for learning how to utilize his new-found, magnified view of the world.
Dr. Ghajar, who had previously implanted the first artificial corneal transplant in the area for patients with corneal blindness, was almost as excited as our patient. Dr. Ghajar says, “To this day many with advanced macular degeneration had no hopes of recognizing faces of loved ones or being able to read or perform hobbies, but this technology holds the promise of restoring a greater level of functional vision and frankly enjoyment to their lives!”
While this technology offers significant hope for patients with advanced stages of macular degeneration, the criteria for implanting this technology is relatively rigid. First the patient’s retina specialist must declare that the patient’s macular degeneration is dry and stable. Next the patient needs to be evaluated by Dr. Ghajar to see if he/she has acceptable anatomy for implantation of the telescopic lens. Lastly, the patient needs to be evaluated by a low vision optometrist to see if he/she would benefit from implantation of a telescopic lens. Other criteria for this lens are:
-age 75 years or older with dry macular degeneration (or history of wet which is now quiescent)
-no previous cataract surgery in the better seeing eye
-severe loss of vision (early macular degeneration does not benefit from this lens)
-no dementia or vestibular diseases that would prevent functional use of the lens
For additional information regarding the implantable telescopic lens please see the Centrasight program website at www.Centrasight.com or contact your retina specialist for further information. You may also request a consultation with Dr. Ghajar by calling (559) 449-5052 if you feel that you may meet the criteria noted above for consideration of this technology.
Dr. Ghajar (Ghajarnia) grew up in Pennsylvania where he attended the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine (UPMC), during which he did neuro-ophthalmic research at UCLA. He did his internship at Harbor Hospital in Baltimore where he rotated at the Johns Hopkins' Wilmer Eye Center. He then completed his residency at the UPMC Eye and Ear Institute and began his journey west by completing a surgically intensive fellowship in Cornea & Refractive Surgery at the University of Utah's Moran Eye Center. Dr. Ghajar's focus is the management of corneal and ocular surface diseases and he performs corneal transplantation using the latest techniques including sutureless transplantation (DSAEK). He also enjoys work in the rewarding field of refractive surgery that include LASIK, PRK, phakic IOLs, and clear lens extraction. Dr. Ghajar is an experienced cataract surgeon and performs refractive and laser cataract surgery using the latest premuim intraocular lens (IOL) technology. Dr. Ghajar is on staff at St. Agnes Hospital, Children's Hospital, Fresno Community, and the Veteran's Administration hospitals, providing care to a diverse patient population.
He is active in introducing novel treatment techniques such as having conducted the first artificial cornea prosthesis transplant in Fresno and introducing serum tears to the California Eye Institute.
Dr. Ghajar likes traveling and humanitarian medical service. He enjoys volunteering his time to international ophthalmic missions and has contributed to projects in places such as Honduras, Afghanistan, Madagascar, Nepal, and Tajikistan. He is married, enjoys living in Fresno, and joined the Eye Medical Center in 2008.
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