First in Class

Physician first in area to implant revolutionary PanOptix® replacement lens.

Photo courtesy of Atlantic Eye Center.

Doug Coleman

You grab your phone, tap in a few numbers and the next thing you know, you’re communicating with someone miles away. Seems simple, right? It is, but largely as a result of the work done by telephone technicians such as Doug Coleman.

A Long Island, New York native, Doug spent more than 30 years working for one of the country’s longest-standing telephone companies, first as an outside technician climbing telephone poles and later as an indoor cable splicer and switch technician.

“We were known as New York Tel when I first started, but we went through a few name changes along the way,” Doug says. “By the time I retired, we were owned by Verizon, so that’s who I retired from.”

Doug retired in 2005 and shortly thereafter moved to Florida, where he is once again living next door to an old New York neighbor who has been teaching him to play golf. He describes his game as “terrible” but says he loves playing nonetheless.

“I have fun no matter what score I shoot or whether I hit the ball good, bad or indifferent,” says Doug, who recently began to experience some difficulty seeing his drives off the tee and seeing clearly while driving his car at night.

“I suddenly noticed my eyesight wasn’t what it used to be,” Doug confirms. “I first noticed it while reading one night at home. I have reading glasses, but they weren’t working very well, so there were some tell-tale signs that something was up.”

Doug had a good idea what those signs meant. Shortly after making the move to Florida, he found a new eye doctor in Alexandra Kostick, MD, of Atlantic Eye Center. During his first exam with Dr. Kostick, Doug was told cataracts were developing in both eyes.

“That was a few years back, and I said to her at the time, I can see just fine,” Doug remembers. “She said, Well, it’s up to you what to do about them, and I said, Well, I’m seeing just fine, so I didn’t do anything about it.

“But as time goes by, you don’t really notice that your vision is changing that much. It’s a common progression, and that’s what I was experiencing until about six months ago, when all of a sudden, I started having those problems reading and driving.

“So I went back to see Dr. Kostick, and she still left it up to me whether I wanted to get the surgery done to remove the cataracts, but I figured it was time I did something about them, so I said, Let’s do it.”

A Common Occurrence

Cataracts develop naturally because of a breakdown of the eye’s lens fibers, a clumping of the eye’s proteins or both. They mostly affect people 55 and older, but surgery to remove cataracts has recently become one of the most common procedures in all medicine.

“The PanOptix lens is now my multifocal lens of choice for all my patients. This is the lens I’ll recommend for all my patients who want multifocal lenses.”
– Dr. Kostick

With a break of a week or two in between, physicians typically perform cataract surgery by correcting one eye at a time in an outpatient setting, where the clouded, natural lens is removed and replaced with an artificial intraocular lens, or IOL.

Like contact lenses, IOLs are available in different focusing powers. Standard IOLs correct a patient’s vision primarily for distance, while multifocal IOLs can correct a patient’s distance and near vision in much the same way that bifocals or bifocal contacts do.

Recently, the most advanced IOL yet, a trifocal lens that corrects distance, intermediate and near vision, was made available to patients in the United States. It’s called the PanOptix lens, and Dr. Kostick believes there is no other like it.

“It’s the first and only FDAapproved trifocal lens in the United States, so it’s literally the first lens of its type,” Dr. Kostick emphasizes. “It’s not totally new to the world, because it’s been available for four years in Europe and for two years in Canada, but it’s new to the United States, and the results people are getting from it are remarkable.”

Recognized throughout the ophthalmologic field as one of its most accomplished surgeons, Dr. Kostick stays on the leading edge of technology and relies strongly on state-of-the-art equipment, techniques and products such as the PanOptix lens.

In treating Doug, she put that reliance, as well as her 23 years of experience, to work and became the first physician in the Palm Coast/Ormond Beach area to implant the PanOptix IOL when Doug received it as part of his corrective surgery in October.

“Doug was an excellent candidate for this new lens because he was a candidate for multifocal lenses,” Dr. Kostick explains. “But multifocal lenses are limited to correcting only distance and near vision or distance and intermediate vision. The PanOptix lens offers far more expanded vision correction.

“With this PanOptix lens, you can see off in the distance clearly, you can read clearly and you can see things in the intermediate range, such as a computer, clearly. We’re also learning that the patient’s visual recovery from surgery comes quicker after implanting the PanOptix lens. That’s why the PanOptix lens is now my multifocal lens of choice for all my patients. This is the lens I’ll recommend for all my patients who want multifocal lenses.”

All in the Family

Doug could not be happier that Dr. Kostick recommended the PanOptix lens for him. He says that his vision is not only better than ever, but better than he ever anticipated it could be following cataract surgery.

“Dr. Kostick definitely steered me in the right direction with this new lens,” Doug enthuses. “My vision is so much better now. It’s really incredible. Even after getting just one eye corrected, I could already read without glasses.

“Dr. Kostick got me on the right track, and one of the things that I really like about her is that she and everybody in her office treats you like family. They take very good care of people there.”

A family-like atmosphere is a big part of what Dr. Kostick strives for at Atlantic Eye Center. She is proud to be treating the sons, daughters and grandchildren of patients she has been treating for years.

“Our patients become part of our extended family,” Dr. Kostick asserts. “We strive to make them comfortable by creating a very caring environment. They know they are going to be treated with a personal touch whenever they come here.”

A strong reputation in the community is also something the staff at Atlantic Eye Center strives to maintain.

“I think word of mouth is very important for doctors, and we pride ourselves on the referrals we get,”Dr. Kostick adds. “I can honestly say that my staff members go out of their way to ensure that people are cared for to our utmost capability.”

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    • Atlantic Eye Center

      Flagler County’s leading female board-certified ophthalmologist, serving the county since 1996, is at Atlantic Eye Center. Benefits the center offers you include: A multi-trained and highly regarded doctor Unparalleled eye care experi... Read More

    • Alexandra Kostick, MD, FACS, FRCSC

      Alexandra Kostick, MD, FACS, FRCSC, is board certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology. After earning her medical degree at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, Dr. Kostick served a mixed surgery internship at St. Boniface Hospital at... Read More