The Drs: Surgery To Repair Keratoconus + When To Seek A Second Opinion

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The Doctors: Young Boy Diagnosed With Keratoconus

The Doctors heard the story of a 13-year-old name Jake. He shared that a couple years ago he was sitting in the classroom when the chalkboard and everything else had gone blurry.

The Drs: Surgery To Repair Keratoconus + When To Seek A Second Opinion

The Doctors discussed the story of a boy diagnosed with keratoconus and the surgery he had to repair his vision. (Dacian G / Shutterstock.com)

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His mom shared that she noticed he was having problems with his vision when he struggled to read or even catch a basketball when his teammates threw it to him. She took him in to the eye doctor where he revealed that he couldn’t even read the big “E” on the vision board. The doctor diagnosed Jake with keratoconus in his left eye. They were told that Jake would have to go blind in both eyes before he could have a cornea transplant.

Jake’s mom said that a few months after Jake’s diagnosis, she was watching the Olympics and they were doing a segment on Steven Holcomb, who had Leratoconus. They had also seen The Doctors where Steven’s doctor explained his diagnosis and the procedure that Steven underwent in order to be able to see again.

Steven came out of retirement and won the gold medal in Vancouver, all after having surgery to fix his Keratoconus. Jake’s mom shared that when she saw that they were able to fix Steven Holcomb’s vision, she knew that they would be able to change Jake’s fate.

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The Doctors: Get A Second Opinion

The Doctors were counting down 7 unhealthy sins you didn’t even know you were making, and Jake’s story brought them to number 5: not getting a second opinion.

Dr. Travis Stork explained that if you haven’t gotten a clear diagnosis or if the first one just doesn’t feel right, get a second opinion.

The Drs TV: Keratoconus Surgery

Jake’s eye doctor, Dr. Brian Boxer Wachler, was on the show to share the procedure he conducted to fix Jake’s Keratoconus. He explained that he performed three procedures, and explained that the problem with Keratoconus is that the collagen fibers in the cornea are weak, and the cornea can bulge out uncontrollably, causing a lot of vision loss.

The first procedure involved intacs, which are micro prescription inserts that are placed below the surface of the cornea to improve vision. He said the procedure usually takes seven minutes, is painless, and you can’t feel them.

He then explained that right after the intacs, they perform the second procedure, which is called the Holcomb C3-R. It is during that procedure that a special solution is applied noninvasively, that is absorbed into the cornea and then activated with a special light to strengthen the cornea, stabilizing the keratoconus. That’s why the long-term results are 99.3% successful.

The Doctors: Signs Of Keratoconus

Dr. Jim Sears wanted to know what parents should look for if they think their children may have Keratoconus. Other than vision loss, Dr. Brian Boxer Wachler explained that the Keratoconus can be detected before there’s even any vision loss, using a simple cornea picture device called topography. It takes a picture in less than 10 seconds.

The Doctors were actually inside the operating room when Jake’s surgery was being done. Jake shared that the surgery didn’t really hurt at all. After the procedure was done, Jake started crying because he was so excited that he was able to see.

The Doctors then welcomed Jake to the show. He said he felt really good and the first people he saw after the procedure was his parents. He thanked Dr. Wachler for saving his vision, saying without him, he wouldn’t be able to see. He said he’s grateful to do the procedure and that his parents were able to help him see again.

Dr. Travis Stork told Jake’s parents that they truly have a great kid.

Dr. Wachler explained that if you have a medical condition and your diagnosis just doesn’t seem to feel right, you should seek a second opinion.

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