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How do you find the 'best' retinal specialist?
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How do you find the 'best' retinal specialist?

I very much appreciate the responses I received to my previous post about my macular pucker.  However, this feedback raises the question of how to find the "best of the best" retinal specialist, especially when referrals from one's physician(s) are unsatisfactory.  (There should be adult education classes on this topic.)  How reliable are the lists of "best" doctors by Castle Connolly and Consumer Guide?  Is a doctor's membership in professional groups (e.g., the Vitreous Society) important?  If I saw a specialist at a teaching hospital, would residents participate in my treatment?  (I live in large midwestern city and have good health insurance, but I'm an "outsider" to the medical community here.)  All feedback will be welcome!
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Finding a good doctor who knows what they are doing can be difficult.  Referrals from other doctors are sometimes unreliable.  I have no idea if a consumer guide would work or not.  Membership in professional groups doesnt necessarily help, although it certainly doesnt hurt.  If you were at a teaching hospital, it is very likely that residents & students would participate.  

I guess my answer might not be what you're looking for...IMO there is no single GREAT way to find out who is the best.  Your best bet IMO is to find other people who have had retinal surgeries and ask them if they thought their doctor did a good job.
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I have to tell you, unless your in the business, you won't really know. Asking other people about their surgical experience can be risky also because how do you know that they have the same condition.  The bottom line is to know the people who are referring you.  On a previous post, I gave a recommendation to a lady who wanted to have orbital reconstructive surgery.  I asked a personal oculoplastic doctor that I have been in surgery with, who he would suggest in her area.  First off, where do you live?

Second you need to be asking other ophthalmologists who they would go to themselves.  I would ask at least 3 different doctors, and if a certain doctor keeps being mentioned, then that's a good place to start.  Your internal medicine MD, or GP will only be an O.K. start, not the BEST.  The magazines are mostly political, and some are even paid to be in there.  You will get some of the best in there, but only by chance. I really think you might me better off leaving your eye alone for know, but doing the research for a retinal specialist is a good idea.  Let me know where in the midwest you are, and I can ask some eye doctors I sell to give you a starting point.
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Thanks for your response! I'm in Chicago.
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I used to work for Dr David J Tresley (Retina Sp.). He works at Chicago Eye Institute 3982 N Milwaukee (773) 282-2000 and at Advocate Illinois Masonic Hospital (773) 296-8000 (ask forEye Clinic)  sometimes gets a little technical, but knows what he is talking about. also:

Lee M. Jampol, M.D. Louis Feinberg Professor and Chairman, Department of Ophthalmology, Northwestern University, 645 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago. Illinois 60611

David Orth, M.D.
Illinois Retina Associates, S.C.
Irwin Retina Center
71 West 156th Street, Suite 400
Harvey, IL 60426
USA
Telephone: (708) 915-6927

I also know the best retinal photographer in the city who works with Dr Tresley. If it is receommended that you get a Fluorescein Angiography test, Martin Chrobak is the one you want to take the photos. This tests the blood flow through your eye.

This is frustrating to go to different doctors, but better than doing surgery without knowing really what your odds are of problems.  It's well worth it. You will be dilated at each office because no doctor takes anyone elses opinion w/o seeing things for themselves. Please keep me updated and feel free to contact me with further questions.
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Hi Eye Guy, any suggestions for California (San Franncisco/Bay Area)?
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I see what I can find out from someone I know in your area.
Stay tuned.
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Sorry to overwork you, but any suggestions for Houston, TX?
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hi there,  I sent in comments earlier..I was diagnosed with central serous retinopathy by an east bay retinologist that I WAS NOT happy with.  this doctor was cold, uninterested, uncommunicative.  when I asked questions, he was absolutely silent - i now realize that he was gritting his teeth with impatience.  I asked him about the possible connection between my coming down with shingles on the same day as my eye problem started, and also asked why i was having considerable eye pain - he waved off both as irrelevant - i got the impression that he was not interested about any symptoms that did not fit his diagnosis. I don't know if i should mention his name, he is part of a major retinal specialist group in the east bay.  I would love to find another doctor in the SF bay area - Help!   thanks,  winterfree
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Hi Wendy, from my research, this office has good reputation in Bay Area:

California Vitroretinal Center
1225 Crane St, Menlo Park
ph: 650 323 0231

Good luck.
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Hi Wendy, from my research, this office has good reputation in Bay Area:

California Vitroretinal Center
1225 Crane St, Menlo Park
ph: 650 323 0231

Good luck.
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Ihave wet macular degeneration and am looking for a good
retina specialist.  I live in maryland, so I will go as
far as I have to but hopefully I can find a excellent
specialist in Maryland, PA, Washington, or any surrounding
state near Maryland.  Any recommendations I would be
interested in persuing. I would appreciate any information
or help!  Thanks see-king infro
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Found this list ranking top eye departments in US News magazine:

1. Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, Miami 76.8
2 Wilmer Eye Institute, Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore 74.4
3 Wills Eye Hospital, Philadelphia 63.1
4 Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Boston 41.3
5 Jules Stein Eye Institute, UCLA Medical Center, Los Angeles 34.7
6 University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Iowa City 21.9
7 Doheny Eye Institute, USC University Hospital, Los Angeles 17.6
8 Duke University Medical Center, Durham, N.C. 14.3
9 New York-Presbyterian Univ. Hosp. of Columbia and Cornell 7.7
10 University of California, San Francisco Medical Center 7.6
11 Barnes-Jewish Hospital/Washington University, St. Louis 7.2
12 New York Eye and Ear Infirmary, New York 7.1
13 Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. 6.5
14 Cullen Eye Institute, Methodist Hospital,
15 Cleveland Clinic 5.715 Cleveland Clinic 5.7
16 University of Michigan Medical Center, Ann Arbor 5.6
17 Emory University Hospital, Atlanta 3.4
18 Manhattan Eye, Ear and Throat Hospital, New York

Not sure if any close to yours...

HTH
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Can anyone help me with finding a top neuro-opthamologist?  Especially one in the southwestern US.  I live in Arizona.  My wife has very serious eye problems ever since she suffered a ruptured brain aneurysm on the basilar tip last March.
We have seen one here, but would like a second opinion, as the news is not good.
Thank you.
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I have been diagnosed with wet macular degeneration. Can anyone recommend a good specialist in Houston, Texas?
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In Houston, two very good retina specialists are: Eric Holtz, MD and  Matt Benz, MD.

In regards to the finding the best retina specialist in a certain area, I would recommend finding out several things: (1) Personal recommendations.  If a friend or neighbor has had a positive experience with a physician, then this is strong evidence that you may.  (2) What is their training?  Did they do a 2 year fellowship at a good institution?  Generally, anyone training at one of the top 10-15 institutions (per the US News and World Report rankings) is going to get solid training.  (3) What is the size of their group?  Generally, a larger group will have more access to clinical trials, more diagnostic equipment, and the ability to discuss tough cases with their colleagues.  (4) Also find out what clinical trials the person or group is involved in.  Groups involved in trials tend to be more up-to-date with the medical literature.

Don't be afraid to get a second opinion if you do not feel comfortable with the person.

Finally, there is a situation known as co-management.  In this scenario, the referring optometrist or ophthalmologist gets a fee (or work out some financial benefit) for refering you to a certain specialist (even though this is not the same physician they would send their family members to).  Be aware that you may not be referred to a specialist based solely on their qualifications.
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As for a good neuro-ophthalmologist in Arizona, call Dr William Fishkind's (cataract specialist) office in Tucson and ask who he recommends. Dr Fishkind and his partner Brock Bakewell are great ophthalmologists, honest and ethical. They will know who to go to.
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I have had 3 surgeries for retna detachment within 1 year all at The University of Chicago. 1st one to remove blood in eye caused by stroke due to High Blood Pressure in eye. Gas bubble inserted in eye. 3 months later blood still in eye so 2nd surgery was preformed to remove remaining blood.  3 months later 3rd surgery to remove scar tissue from previous surgery, buckle placed in eye to hold retna in place and lens in eye removed.  That was 6 months ago, At first I had some vision, but now I see nothing out of the eye, plus it produces no tears. I am constantly using drops. I thing something is wrong here and I need another Doctors opinion. Where can I find a good Doctor? I live in Chgo, but I can go any place.
Thank you.
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In Chicago, call either Richard Foulkes, MD or David Lubeck, MD. They specialize in LASIK and cataracts, but if you need retinal referral, trust their judgement.
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I have gone to Shiley Eye Center in La Jolla for years. It is affliated with UCSD. Dr. Robert Weinreb is outstanding in Glaucoma, Dr. Michael Goldbaum is outstanding in Retinas, and Dr. Shanzlin is outstanding in Corneas. When I have had an emergency, they have taken me right away and always treat me well. The staff is very helpful, too.
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Hi all,

My mother was just diagnosed with dry macular degeneration and we spent some time online trying to see if the doctor she was recommended to was a good one - but it seems it is very hard to tell.  She's down in San Diego but spends some time in Phoenix and in the San Jose and San Francisco areas.  Does anyone have recommendations in those areas?

Thanks,
Annie
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I got struck in they eye with a bungee cord and tore and detached my retina.  Much like others in this forum my 1st doctor had no patience and wasn't interested in answering my quesitons.  The 2nd doc was better so I had a vitrectomy and they fixed the tear and used a bubble for the detachment.  About 1 month later my retina fully detached due to scar tissue.  Had 2nd surgery with yet another doctor (2nd one was at a conference) and they used the buckle and bubble and so far it has stayed attached.  

Problem is now I have retinal swelling that won't seem to go down and some traction where the retina has shrunk some from the surgery.

Wondering who would be the best doctor for me to see if I live in East Tennesse.  I'm willing to go anywhere but without knowing any of the doctors outside of this area I'm hesitant to change doctors.  My doctor is now wanting to do an injection in the eye to try to take the swelling down as drops have not helped.  I also have a very bad cataract from the 2 surgeries so if the swelling ever goes down that's the next step.
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Here are some places to go for suggestion:

To DorothyDee for Houston --Mike Lambert, MD Retina specialist, at Baylor.

To Mike in TN: Call Randy Evans in Lebanon, TN. He will advise you of someone good in your area.

For Baltimore area, call Jody May 717-637-1919 in Hanover, PA. He will recommend someone for you.
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Dr. Lambet is actually with Texas Retina (not Baylor, where he is a volunteer faculty).  He is very good and his number is (713) 799-9975.

In Eastern TN, I would recommend Nick Anderson, MD.  His number is (865) 588-0811.

One of the very best eye institutes in the world is located at Johns Hopkins (the Wilmer Eye Institute).  Julia Haller, MD is fantastic.
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My husband has blood in the eye.  I began to clear after three weeks but has increased.  Who is the best specialist to consult?  We are in Florida but will go wherever necessary.  Thank you.
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It depends on where you are at in Florida.  If you are near Miami, then Harry Flynn, MD and William Smiddy, MD at Bascom Palmer are renowned world-wide.

If you are in Northern FL (near Tallahasee), Logan Brooks, MD is very reputable.

On the western side of Florida, there are several options (Smiddy does travel to Naples on occasion).
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I have just been diagonised with retina problems and am trying to local a good retina specialist in the Salt Lake City, Utah area.  If anyone knows of one please let me know.
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Call Randy Olson, MD at the University and follow his recommendation
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In Oct 2005 I had surgery to close a macular hole in my left eye. Although the hole was large my surgeon predicted a 90% chance of success. He stressed that success or failure would also depend upon the gas bubble that would be put in my eye staying there for at least a month as well as my ability to remain face down for six days.

Although the gas bubble was in my eye for two months,and I was diligent in remaining face down for over six days,the surgery was unsuccessful. The central vision in my left eye is slightly worse than it was  before surgery. My doctor feels we should try again,but thinks his chance of success would be less than it was originally.

My doctor referred me to a retina specialist associated with Emory. This doctor also thinks I should repeat the surgery. He thinks silicon instead of a gas bubble should be used. He says there is about an 80% chance of a successful closure. He also says vision restoration is not usually as good when silicon is used. Both doctors think my vision in the left eye is probably stable,and if we could be certain that my right eye would be okay,we'd leave the left eye as is.

The doctor at Emory checked my right eye. It appears healthy,however, the fluid has not moved away from the macular yet.The doctor was concerned to see a shimmery effect near the macular that indicates some traction. Needless to say,I'm very frightened and don't know what to do. Perhaps I'm chasing rainbows since I've already talked with someone at Emory,but I'd like to know who are considered the best retina specialist in South Carolina,North Carolina and Georgia.


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In SC call Kerry Soloman in Charleston, SC and H Rick Milne in Columbia, SC and ask them. In GA, call ANdrew FEinberg in Atlanta and ask him and in NC call Mike Woodcock in Fayetteville and Jonathan Christenbury in Charlotte for recommendations.
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I am in New York and am looking for a top specialist for macular degeneration.  Would anyone be able to give me some suggestions on finding one. Any recommendations or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
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My husband is having surgery Tuesday and Vitrectomy equipment was suggested for his week of "face down" positioning.  I've found nothing in San Diego.  Does anyone have tales of comfort during the seven days following surgery?  Your pearls of wisdom and experiences are most appreciated.
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Are you looking for someone in the city, NYC?
If so, call NY Eye and Ear Infirmary, or Greg Pamel, MD for a recommendation.
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My husband has had emergency surgery to repair a tearing and detaching retina on each eye, each five years apart. He has been seeing Dr. Alice Lyon at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago. All surgeries have been sucessful and she and her team have been really wonderful with him.  Now we're considering a move for a new job and quieter way of life with our kids in St. Joseph, Michigan. Thing is I'm really concerned about leaving Chicago, Northwestern and Dr. Lyon. Does anyone have any recommendations for St. Joe or the Southwest Michigan area?
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If you are pleased with Dr Lyon, ask her for a recommendation. She will know who to go to.
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How about the Jacksonville, FL area?
Been logged on to Medscape most of the day.  Seems like there is still nothing out there to halt progression anywhere.  Slow it down with Ocuvite or similiar supplements.  That's about it.
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Jacksonville --ask Dr Nicolitz and Lou Catania, OD in his office who to go to in JXV.
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