Advance with MUSC Health

MUSC Health Storm Eye Institute Improves Care for Eye Diseases

Advance With MUSC Health
July 05, 2022
Dr. Lynn Perry

MUSC Health Storm Eye Institute, a new state-of-the-art eye surgery center, has opened at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC), and it’s expected to improve care and make eye surgery more convenient for patients.

Cataracts and Their Treatment

Cataracts — a clouding of the lens of the eye — affect an estimated 20 to 30 million Americans, mostly those who are ages 60 and older, and in most cases can be surgically removed. Much like a camera lens, a clear lens typically allows the eye to focus on objects at varying distances by bending and focusing light on creating a sharp image.

Though cataracts can be unnoticeable to a patient at first, over time the condition can make your vision blurry, hazy, or less colorful. You may have trouble reading or doing other everyday activities, like driving at night. 

"Everyone gets cataracts as they get older," says Lynn Perry, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of ophthalmology at MUSC, who specializes in treating a range of conditions — like cataracts and inflammatory eye disease — that can cause vision loss.

The good news is that surgery to remove cataracts is routine, safe, and effective — and it can be performed at MUSC’s new eye surgery center, Storm Eye Institute.

“Routine cataract removal is the most common procedure, but we also perform less-common procedures for other conditions involving the lens or complicated cataracts,” Dr. Perry adds.

The Institute is also used for other types of eye surgery, including glaucoma and strabismus surgeries.

Other Eye Problems That May Require Surgery

Uveitis, or Inflammatory eye disease, can lead to cataracts, as can the steroids used to treat inflammatory eye disease. When this happens, surgery isn’t necessarily something your eye care specialist will recommend at first. Instead, your eye surgeon may suggest controlling the inflammation for three months using medications.

Conditions, like scarring of the iris (the colored part of the eye) from inflammation, can complicate surgery. Your eye doctor will also look for instability in the lens, which might prevent the placement of the new lens in its proper place.

"Even though uveitis is a fairly common problem, it makes treating cataracts more complex," says Dr. Perry. "It takes additional surgical techniques while the patient is in the OR, and we have to manage the inflammation before and after surgery to get the best results." That level of care takes a dedicated team of experts to guide each patient from their preparation for surgery through post-op recovery.

Other issues leading to eye surgery include trauma to the lens and genetic abnormalities. Trauma – caused by getting hit by a ball, for example – can dislocate the lens and require replacement to restore normal vision. A congenital disease such as Marfan's syndrome can weaken the support structure for the lens and lead to vision problems that require surgery.

The Benefit of a Surgery Center Focused on Eye Problems

A surgical center dedicated to eye surgeries is the best place for patient care. All surgeries at the eye care center are performed by ophthalmologists – medical doctors specializing in eye diseases and eye surgery. At the Storm Eye Institute, the ophthalmologists work with anesthesiologists, nurses, and support staff specializing in eye care. Patients will undoubtedly benefit from the best eye surgeons and a surgery center equipped with the latest technology.

The Eye Surgery Center Offers Peace of Mind

Having the latest equipment in a dedicated facility that offers the full spectrum of eye surgery is a beautiful health care resource for patients across South Carolina. "When patients come in for their post-op visit, they always talk about how amazing the staff was during their surgery," says Dr. Perry. "Our nurses are so happy to be here. It's a great environment for health care, and that's evident to our patients."

To make an appointment or refer a patient to the Storm Eye Institute, please call 843-792-2020.