Eye Floater Laser

We Are The Experts… 20,000 laser sessions and counting.

Scott L. Geller, MD

Scott Geller, MD, is the board-certified ophthalmologist who brought an advanced laser technique for the treatment of eye floaters from Switzerland to the US and refined it to the precise level it’s at now. He specializes in a field that few eye doctors can.

“Patients often ask me, Why can’t my local doctor laser eye floaters,” Dr. Geller states. “The answer is because this is a niche area of interest, and most ophthalmologists will not take the time to really study and perfect it.

“It’s a bit like plastic surgery. Any intern can make an incision and stitch skin, but it takes years of experience to size up a patient, know exactly how to modify a technique and get the absolute best result possible.”

Dr. Geller has that experience. In Switzerland, he studied the treatment of diabetic retinal membranes under Franz Fankhauser, a pioneer in the use of the YAG Laser in the eye. Since then, Dr. Geller has performed more than 20,000 eye floater laser procedures, the largest clinical series of patients, possibly worldwide.

Even the great ophthalmic institutions at the University of South Florida in Tampa and the Bascom-Palmer Eye Institute in Miami cannot make that claim. As a result, Dr. Geller has also lectured and trained eye surgeons worldwide in this specialized skill and treated patients from as far away as Siberia.

“Bringing the laser to the US sparked a great breakthrough in ophthalmology,” Dr. Geller states. “The laser revolutionized the treatment of various eye conditions, making them easier and safer. When using this laser, there is no risk of a blinding infection inside the eye.

“The patients who are referred to my practice are visually disabled by large floaters and membranes in the eye. They are not the common specks or strings the average person might see against a clear sky. These floaters are often directly in the patient’s center of vision.

Because of that, the obstruction to vision that these large floaters cause can be extreme. They can be especially hazardous to someone who is driving, someone who is performing other dangerous tasks that require precise vision or someone who has only one functioning eye, has suffered an eye injury or suffers from macular degeneration or lazy eye [amblyopia].

“We excel in clearing these obstructions, even in the most difficult of cases. In fact, we have a documented case of a patient with macular degeneration and dense eye floaters whose vision was improved. Even his retina specialist found it unbelievable.”

Understanding the Patient

Some eye specialists and institutions offer to treat patients with eye floaters by performing a vitrectomy, a surgical procedure to remove a gel called the vitreous humor that fills the cavity of the eye. This improves access to the retina, allowing the physician to perform a number of repairs. But it can cause complications, especially in patients who are on blood thinners or have other issues.

Others simply follow their routine of measuring the patient’s vision and checking for retinal tears or detachments. In those cases, barring anything unusual, the doctor says the retina looks fine and the floater will either fade or the patient will get used to it.

“And to that, the patient typically responds by saying, 1” Dr. Geller relates. “And while it’s true that, for many patients, the floaters do fade or the patient simply gets used to them, that’s not always the case.

“That’s why ophthalmologists need to listen to the patient’s problem and thoroughly examine the vitreous gel, where eye floaters are formed. If the ophthalmologist measures only the patient’s best vision on an eye chart, they may not correctly diagnose the problem and dismiss the patient out of hand, telling them that nothing needs to be done, which may leave the patient bewildered and frustrated.

“This is one of the areas of ophthalmology that is routinely ignored by many ophthalmologists, and the reason for this is simple: They don’t take the patient’s visual acuity with the floater in the visual axis. At South Florida Eye Clinic, we always take that step. We measure the patient’s worst vision on the eye chart to see exactly how bad the vision gets with the floater obstructing it. That’s why my patients with macular degeneration or lazy eye report improvement of their overall vision.”

Dr. Geller also specializes in fixing cases that did not have a satisfactory outcome.

“Many ophthalmologists have no extensive, formal training, and they think they can just jump into this specialty,” Dr. Geller explains. “They are often too busy with other procedures like cataract surgery and glaucoma treatment to devote the time necessary to become an expert at this. As a result, the outcome of their treatment of eye floaters is often less than optimal. But I specialize in the treatment of eye floaters, and I invite any ophthalmologist or optometrist to visit and observe the procedure.”

So what is the procedure like?

“It’s quite easy compared to a traditional cutting operation,” Dr. Geller reports. “I start by placing a special lens on the eye, where the laser pulverizes the opacity or creates a ‘window’ in the line of vision. Pain or even mild discomfort is unusual during this procedure, and we pride ourselves on a high level of concern for patient comfort.”

A Doctor and a Teacher

Dr. Geller has lectured all over the world – in Italy, France, Germany, the Czech Republic, Turkey, China and Mexico – on the technique he developed to treat eye floaters and has treated patients referred to him from all of those countries.

Eye Floater Diagram

“My first scientific presentation was at the 1989 International Congress of Ophthalmology in Singapore,” he adds. “It was followed by lectures at several conferences in China, including the prestigious Shanghai Eye and Ear Institute.

“Other major meetings included the 1997 European Congress of Cataract and Refractive Surgery in Prague; the 1999 Florida Society of Ophthalmology; the 2001 European Congress of Ophthalmology in Istanbul; the 2010 World Congress of Ophthalmology in Berlin; and the 2010 American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery in Boston. There was also a peer-reviewed presentation at the American Academy of Ophthalmology in Chicago in 2012.”

One of Dr. Geller’s lectures covered the onset of disabling eye floaters in patients who recently had cataract surgery.

“I gave my first presentation on this at the World Congress of Ophthalmology in Berlin, 2010,” Dr. Geller reveals. “I also presented a paper at the prestigious American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery that documented and described unnecessary post cataract surgery scarring and membrane due to a missed diagnosis of eye floaters.

“My hope is that this important information will prevent future mistakes for the benefit of patients. I have even seen patients who had missed eye floater diagnoses, and they felt they were talked into cataract surgery that did not deal with their real problem.”

Approximately 50 percent of the patients Dr. Geller sees are post-cataract surgery patients.

Finding Dr. Geller

Patients seeking treatment from Dr. Geller are advised to call rather than email his office, but Dr. Geller confides that patients often find him in a roundabout way.

“Recently, a man in West Palm Beach went to the satellite clinic of a world-famous Miami eye institute,” the doctor reports. “They told him they couldn’t do anything for him except vitrectomy, but they also told him there’s an ophthalmologist on the west coast of Florida who can treat your eye with a laser. “It wasn’t a direct referral, but the patient managed to find me and was ecstatic with his results.

“Subsequently, I uploaded a video of his procedure to YouTube.com and Vimeo.com, which can be found among dozens of videos I’ve posted.”

Dr. Geller cautions that not all patients can be helped with his laser procedure, though he is pleased to report that, partially due to his meticulous patient selection process, his results are excellent.

“Laser treatment of eye floaters is fascinating,” Dr. Geller says. “I look forward to doing this every day.”

Dr. Geller says that while his greatest satisfaction comes from helping patients who have been told by their own ophthalmologists that nothing can be done, he actually welcomes the opportunity to share his technique with others in his field.

“Other ophthalmologists need only call me, or ask one of my patients about their results,” he says. “I’m proud of our track record and of the patients we’ve helped.”

Article submitted by Scott L. Geller, MD. FHCN file photo. mkb
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    • South Florida Eye Clinic

      South Florida Eye Foundation has been the world's premier eye floater treatment center for more than 25 years. Laser treatment of eye floaters is their specialty. Eye floaters can range from the merely annoying to the visually disab... Read More

    • Scott L. Geller, MD

      Scott L. Geller, MD, is board-certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology. He is a graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University and Rush Medical College. While in medical school, he was awarded a student fellowship to study tropical medicine at a m... Read More