The Greater New Bedford Surgical and Laser Center was opened in 1986 with the express purpose of rendering high quality, state of the art eye surgery to patients of all ages, especially those with cataracts, glaucoma, or cornea disease. The Center is designed specifically with the needs of the patient in mind. The entire process from initial examination to final outcome is conducted in a pleasant comfortable environment.
After a patient decides to have surgery, he or she is assigned his or her own Surgical Counselor who is available to answer questions and provide assistance. These individuals are specially trained to assist the patient throughout the entire surgical experience, including follow up care for as long as necessary. Patients are encouraged to contact their counselor for any questions, no matter how simple or complex.
One to two weeks before surgery, a physical examination, assessment is performed at the Greater New Bedford Surgicenter. This allows the patient to visit the facility, meet some of the staff members and ask questions. Two days before surgery, patients are asked to periodically instill antibiotic drops into their eyes to prepare them for surgery.
Patients are asked to arrive approximately one hour before they are scheduled for surgery. Upon arrival, they are given a paper gown, hat and booties to wear over their street clothes. The anesthetist administers a local anesthetic and the patient walks into the operation room and lies comfortably on a special chair. The surgery takes between 20 minutes and 2 hours, depending on the procedure being performed. During this time, the patient can talk with the doctors and nurses and relax.
Family members and friends are welcome to wait in the reception area while surgery is taking place. Refreshments are always available and staff members are nearby to answer any questions.
Once the surgery is complete, the patient is escorted into the Recovery Room and is seated in a comfortable lounge chair where they can relax ans enjoy some light refreshments. After a short recovery period, the patient is discharged and allowed to go home. Most daily routines can be resumed immediately. Driving a car is usually allowed after the first 24 hours. In some patients, vision is restored to almost normal by the very next day. In other patients, vision improvement occurs over the course of a few weeks. A patient's eyeglasses are generally not changed for 4 to 8 weeks after surgery. It is only then that the final visual result can be fully appreciated.
Patients referred for surgery by a local optometrist are generally returned to the optometrist for a final refraction exam and follow up care.
The Greater New Bedford Surgical and Laser Center also has the facilities to perform laser surgery for such eye disorders as retinal degeneration, glaucoma and diabetes. The doctors can also perform a procedure known as "capsulotomy"; which is a procedure required in some post cataract patients. Laser surgery is quick and highly effective.
There are always several ophthalmologists on staff at the Surgicenter at any given time. Schedules are arranged to assure proper coverage for all possible eye emergencies as well as other elective eye surgery. Free literature and brochures concerning all forms of eye disease are available. Arrangements can be made for slide/lecture information programs as well as free diabetes/glaucoma/cataract screenings for groups of reasonable size.
The Greater New Bedford Surgicenter is now in its 27th year of operation and has performed over 30,000 surgical procedures to date.