Your vision is priceless. When you need an eye surgeon, how do you decide whom to trust? First, educate yourself. Ask questions. We suggest the following:
Look at the doctor's years of experience, as well as when his or her practice was "founded." (Some doctors purchase their practices from others and then link their credentials to the former owner's start date.) Ask also about the total patient base. Eye Care Specialists was founded in 1985—by two of our six physicians. Since then, more than 121,000 doctors and patients have trusted us for medical, surgical and laser treatment of nearly every eye condition and disease.
Our ophthalmologists (Drs. Norman Cohen, Robert Sucher, Mark Freedman, Brett Rhode, Daniel Ferguson and Daniel Paskowitz) and medical optometrist (Dr. David Scheidt) live and practice in the Milwaukee area—ensuring patients the benefit of qualified, 24-hour back-up coverage, as well as the sharing of questions, techniques and ideas.
When evaluating practices, try to look at patient volume, surgeon skill, and breadth of services. For example, Eye Care Specialists is regarded as one of the leading cataract surgery practices in Wisconsin in terms of both volume and exceptional skill. One of our physicians alone has performed more than 25,000 procedures. Our physicians have also pioneered new surgical techniques and equipment, including phacoemulsification (ultrasonic), topical anesthesia (eye drop), and no-stitch cataract removal, and were the first eye surgeons in Wisconsin to utilize foldable lens implants to restore vision.
In addition to cataract operations, our team performs tens of thousands of other procedures requiring equal or greater expertise, including eye muscle surgeries, corneal transplants, retinal repairs, ophthalmic plastic surgery, laser vision correction to reduce the need for glasses, and laser therapy for diabetes, macular degeneration and glaucoma. Our surgeons are often asked to turn the operating room into a teaching environment for visiting doctors, equipment manufacturers, and other eye care industry representatives.
By being well-rounded in skills, we can help patients and their family members now . . . and when any injuries or conditions occur in the future.
Our surgeons are diplomates of the American Academy of Ophthalmology and are among approximately only 200 ophthalmologists in the U.S. awarded special certification from the American Board of Eye Surgeons (ABES) for skill in the field of cataract/implant surgery. ABES is a non-profit organization that operates a voluntary, peer-based examination, assessment and certification program for quality ophthalmic surgical care. As part of ABES' rigorous evaluation process, our surgeons had to submit data from hundreds of cataract/implant cases, as well as perform surgery for evaluation by an on-site observer and videotape review panel.
Our doctors have also served as Clinical Investigators in FDA studies on the safety and effectiveness of laser vision correction. They are trainers for the Technolas® 217 excimer laser, regional educators for Restasis™ dry eye disease therapy, and have been named among "Top Doctors" by Milwaukee Magazine.
Whenever medically appropriate and possible, we perform diagnostic and treatment procedures in-office for patient convenience and cost-savings. This includes OCT laser scans to detect and track glaucoma, macular degeneration (AMD) and diabetic eye disease; Orbscan corneal topography and Zywave testing to set surgical parameters for laser vision correction; and ocular injections to preserve (and sometimes improve) vision for AMD and diabetes patients.
For more advanced procedures, we utilize the Eye Surgery & Laser Center of Wisconsin, a 10,000-square-foot facility with four surgical suites and a federally certified sterile operating room for laser vision correction. The center features some of the most advanced eye surgery technology and equipment available for performing cataract surgery, glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy laser treatment, corneal transplants, laser vision correction, and other procedures. The center also offers a relaxed, comfortable environment overseen by a handpicked team of nurses with an average of 20 years of experience. All of these factors enable us to provide the best possible care and outcomes.
For patients whose insurance or other needs require that they receive services elsewhere, we also have surgical privileges at most area hospitals and outpatient facilities.
Eye Care Specialists is one of the only ophthalmology groups in the country to write, publish and distribute its own series of in-depth, color, educational booklets on common eye conditions, including cataracts, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, dry eyes, macular degeneration and laser vision correction. More than one million of these booklets and educational newsletters have been provided free-of-charge to senior centers, retirement communities, civic groups, health care professionals, employers, and any individuals or organizations in need of eye care information. We also offer free educational slide seminars and vision screenings for interested groups. Through education, we hope to help all Wisconsinites to seek and receive the best possible eye care.
Since 1985, Eye Care Specialists has conducted one of the nation's most extensive continuing medical education programs for optometrists and fellow physicians. In addition to sponsoring all-day, multi-topic conferences, we often have doctors-in-training visit our offices and follow our staff members. And, we publish our own newsletters and updates for the medical community. Our belief is that educating peers means better care for all patients—here in Milwaukee and across southeastern Wisconsin. As such, we are proud to share in the care of tens of thousands of area residents with their referring optometrists and family physicians.
Some discount laser centers advertise one price, only to charge hundreds of dollars more if you have a high prescription or astigmatism. This is called "tiered pricing." At Eye Care Specialists, we offer one price no matter how poor your eyesight. We believe it is unfair to try to profit from certain patients, when the cost of performing the procedure is the same no matter what the prescription. Some competitors argue that higher prescriptions warrant higher prices because they involve a higher enhancement rate (secondary procedures to fine-tune vision). Others charge a separate fee for enhancements. At Eye Care Specialists, however, we feel we have the most accurate laser available and, therefore, one of the lowest enhancement rates. As such, our global fee includes the price of enhancements for a generous three-year period after surgery— which is almost always when such procedures are done.
Eye Care Specialists realizes the magnitude of the cost, time and effort involved in pursuing laser vision correction. As such, we have dedicated a separate hotline and staff for the counseling and scheduling of LASIK candidates. Our Surgery Coordinators are not paid commissions or bonuses for converting people to surgery. Their role is to educate and guide people to the best decision—taking the time necessary to answer every question and provide accurate pre-testing and informed consent. We also own and conduct surgery at the Eye Surgery & Laser Center of Wisconsin, which features a state and federally certified sterile operating for performing LASIK. Registered nurses, not technicians, assist with cases. And, we follow strict protocols for sterilization and the use of new surgical blades on each patient. All of these factors help to ensure the highest level of laser vision correction care and outcomes.
Eye Care Specialists' surgeons believe that money should never be an issue to prevent someone from achieving and maintaining their best possible vision. As such, we accept Medicare and most major insurances and HMOs. We are also participating providers in the American Academy of Ophthalmology's EyeCare America®: Seniors EyeCare Program, Diabetes EyeCare Program, Glaucoma EyeCare Program and Children's EyeCare Program. For LASIK and other elective vision correction procedures, our special surgery coordinators assist with researching financing program, flex plan, and insurance options. And, we work with local employee benefit providers to find ways to make LASIK surgery more affordable for their members.
Our latest analysis shows that 98% of our patients have 20/40 or better vision (the level needed to legally drive without glasses or contacts) one month after surgery, and the overwhelming majority are happy with their new "focus on life."
Since 1985, Eye Care Specialists has provided comprehensive medical, surgical and laser care for virtually every eye condition to more than 121,000 people in southeastern Wisconsin. If you would like detailed booklets/handouts on cataracts, diabetic eye disease, dry eyes, flashes & floaters, glaucoma, macular degeneration, or other eye-related topics, please contact our Communications & Education Department at 414-321-7035. To schedule a comprehensive eye evaluation, call one of our three convenient Milwaukee-area locations shown at the top of this web page.