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Rate Dr. Richard E. Levine
Dr. Richard E. Levine's Ratings
I can't give Dr. Levine enough compliments for my recent eye surgery. The outcome is life changing to have clear vision and no more glasses or contact lenses to wear.
He treats patients in a kind and professional way and his staff continues the same treatment.
I can't imagine not continuing with my yearly follow-up appointments with him.
I would never go anywhere else. The entire staff is courteous, professional and incredibly efficient. I recently had cataract surgery with a multi-focal lens implant in my right eye. It was an easy painless procedure with an unbelievably wonderful outcome. I'm going back for my left eye. I can already read without glasses for the first time in over 25 years.
Witnessing surgery on your body is rare.
Advent of general anesthesia made it so.
Cataract surgery is an exception. _____
Prior to cataract surgery (CS)
I gathered info about it.
One worry: anesthesia.
Would I be under or over the threshold of consciousness.
A CS brochure is reassuring: fast recovery (true),
takes 10 to 15 mins (maybe less),
and a mild sedative is given. What does mild mean?
I tried to extract a definition from Dr. Levine's staff,
but didn't get far. I would wait for surgery.
Dr. Levine uses an eye surgery center that provides all support personnel.
It's assembly line style.
First a check of fitness.
Then the prep area.
A nurse administers eye drops:
dilation, local anesthesia, sterilization, etc.
An anesthesiologist readies you for sedation.
My first prep crew was a jolly bunch.
2 young ladies enjoyed dropping meds into my eye.
The anesthesiologist was an entertainer.
We struck an enjoyable conversation.
He pricked a vein on the back of my hand with a needle through
which the sedative would be injected.
Sir, how mild is mild?
Couldn't get an answer, even from the one responsible!
Bottom line: trust us; we know what we're doing; you'll be fine.
It didn't matter.
I would know soon. _____
Dr. Levine visits the prep room for a final check.
He paints an "X" on the forehead above the target eye.
Assuring there is no mix up when the prep crew hands you over to
the surgical team. _____
In the OR you're hooked to monitors.
Body covered with a sheet
with only a hole for the eye.
It prevents the other eye from seeing anything.
A few final tips from the anesthesiologist and ...
I blanked out. _____
I woke up as if nothing had happened.
Surgery, however, was over.
Uncovered, unhooked, and rolled to a recovery area.
There's a choice of water, OJ, or cookies.
I reveled in clear eyesight and
that I knew what mild sedation meant. _____
I come to the 2nd CS more relaxed.
This prep crew is all business, no fun.
The anesthesiologist has no sense of humor.
My attempt at chitchat fails.
It doesn't matter, for I know what mild sedation is. Or do I? _____
To the OR. I'm covered. Dr. Levine asks me to look up. A device is placed against my eye.
I'm mulling about mild. There is talk about incision tools, ie, blades. Ugh.
We're up and running and cutting and I'm wide awake. _____
Early on, I had found courage to watch CS videos.
After a few they are as easy as a cat video.
(Not that I think the former will ever reach the popularity as the latter.)
I noticed that even fixing the eyeball,
the front of the eye got jostled when surgical tools
cut into or moved in and out of the eye.
I theorized the image seen by the retina suffered a slight but detectable shift or shake.
Also shadows moving within the field of view.
I thought it possible to visually track progress if conscious during surgery. _____
On the operating table, there is nothing I can do but lie quietly, relax, enjoy and track progress.
Hmm, maybe not enjoy. _____
We've reached the point in the CS
where the part of the capsule is removed.
It's a remark the nurse makes about Dr. Levine's technique.
I'm not disappointed to not see the shadows I expected.
The lights are so bright as to wash out details.
I try to perceive shifts and shakes at the edge of vision,
but can't detect movement.
Likely the result of the surgeon's light touch and steady hands.
Unable to follow the progress of CS with the eye,
I rely on sound. Few words are exchanged btw surgeon and nurse.
I hear "nib" requested. I guess the tool that emulsifies and sucks the lens.
I hear a whirring sound. There are pauses, when I guess pieces of the lens are moved to help the "nib" do its work.
At each pause you wonder if cataract removal is done.
A longer delay. Maybe we're done.
Then it happens: my sight turns yellow. _____
I saw a version of the std IOL during an appt.
What struck me was its yellow tinge.
I thought it was a gimmick:
drop the demo IOL and it's easier to find.
But that is what goes into the eye. _____
The jolt of yellow is the first time something visually compelling happens.
At first the yellow is strong because of how the IOL is inserted.
Prior to insertion the IOL is pushed through a gadget that rolls it
like you roll a rug.
The Lilliputian cylinder is slid into the eye,
positioned, released, gently unfolds and the yellow lightens.
I see an IOL edge move across my field of view.
It settles into a flat and final configuration.
And final means final.
I and my IOLs expect to be cremated together. _____
I can't explain mild sedation variations.
Unconsciousness was sublime, but being conscious wasn't freaky.
It was mildly interesting (yes, vague).
A chance to experience Dr. Levine being the excellent surgeon he is.
In short I'm mildly happy that it happened this way and ecstatic with the final result.
The end is what matters.
As Descartes wrote after his cataracts removal:
video ergo operatus bene (I see, therefore it worked.)
As a 21st birthday present my parents arranged for me to have the LASIK procedure with Dr. Levine. IT IS THE BEST GIFT I HAVE EVER RECEIVED! Dr. Levine was simply outstanding throughout the entire procedure, explaining everything to me as it was happening. It was over before I knew it and my vision is better than 20/20. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND Dr. Levine and The Cliffside Eye Center, along with his courteous staff to anyone who is contemplating LASIK. I will never miss those contact lenses!
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