Eye Care Practice Adds Fort Pierce Location

Meet the new doc on the block, with a full menu of ophthalmic services.

Many medical procedures – think reconstructive knee surgery, back surgery, or heart surgery – require weeks, if not months, of recovery time and rehabilitation before the patient begins to feel normal again.

“I got into medicine because I wanted to make a difference in people’s lives. Ophthalmology gives me that chance.” – Dr. Vander Woude

Cataract surgery is different. Most cataract patients begin to see better than they did prior to surgery within hours of the procedure, and that’s a big part of what attracted Logan T. Vander Woude, DO, MPH, to ophthalmology.

“I was in my third year of medical school when I decided to go into ophthalmology,” says Dr. Vander Woude (pronounced Vander Wood). “I knew I wanted to do something procedural, and I was shadowing doctors in a bunch of specialties.

“I had already shadowed doctors in emergency medicine, interventional medicine, radiology and dermatology, and then the ophthalmologist I was shadowing invited me to his clinic to watch him do cataract surgery. That’s when I got hooked.

“Watching the surgery was amazing, but what really attracted me was seeing the patient responses. The surgery itself took about 10 minutes, but the very next day, these patients were coming back seeing better than they had in years and were thrilled about it.

“That ability to make an immediate impact in someone’s life seemed very rewarding to me, and it has been. I got into medicine because I wanted to make a difference in people’s lives. Ophthalmology gives me that chance.”

The valedictorian of his class at Nova Southeastern University College of Osteopathic Medicine, Dr. Vander Woude is now making a difference in people’s lives at the newly opened Center for Advanced Eye Care location in Fort Pierce.

Located at 215 Nebraska Ave., Suite 2H, the clinic offers the same services as the practice’s primary office in Vero Beach, including everything from general eye exams to cornea surgery.

“By opening in Fort Pierce, we believe we’re addressing a community need,” Dr. Vander Woude explains. “I say that because a lot of eye doctors in this area have retired in recent years, but the need for quality eye care remains.

“This office will make it easier for the people of Fort Pierce to get that care, and as our patient base grows, so will our staff. We have enough room to support three to four doctors.”

For now, Dr. Vander Woude is the only physician at the Fort Pierce location, but he is fellowship-trained in cataract, glaucoma, refractive and cornea surgery and is therefore capable of providing care for all vision and eye-related issues.

Cataract, Glaucoma Surgery

Cataract surgery is one of the more common procedures in medicine, with more than 4 million each year. It involves the removal of a clouded lens, which is replaced with an artificial intraocular lens (IOL). The surgery takes as little as 10 to 15 minutes.

Like contact lenses, IOLs are available in different focusing powers. Standard IOLs correct vision primarily for distance, but patients can also choose to have one eye fixed for distance while the other is fixed for reading, an option called monovision.

A third option is multifocal IOLs. Most multifocal IOLs are bifocal lenses that correct distance and either reading or intermediate vision, but advanced trifocal versions that correct distance, reading and intermediate vision are available.

“We also have the new light-adjustable lens (LAL),” Dr. Vander Woude offers. “That’s a great option. It allows us to adjust the focusing power of the replacement lens and lock it into place after the surgery has been completed.”

That adjustment is made with a laser in less than a minute, typically about a month after the procedure during a routine doctor’s visit. The adjustments can be done up to three times in the months following surgery to ensure the patient has the clearest vision possible.

Dr. Vander Woude notes that cataract surgery is sometimes combined with surgery for glaucoma, a disease marked by an increase in the intraocular pressure on the optic nerve due to a buildup of an internal eye fluid called aqueous humor.

The buildup is often a result of damage to the eye’s natural drainage system, which can be restored using medication or through one of several surgeries.

“At the Center for Advanced Eye Care … we offer a full range of services for patients of all ages.” – Dr. Vander Woude

“The procedure I prefer can be done during cataract surgery or independent of cataract surgery, and it’s called viscodilation,” Dr. Vander Woude offers. “This procedure opens the natural drainage and creates more of a pathway for outflow.

Logan T. Vander Woude, DO, MPH

“I offer this procedure to almost every patient taking glaucoma medication. It is also the procedure I would want for myself if I was dealing with glaucoma. It works 24 hours a day and reduces the patient’s dependence on medication.

“Another reason I like this procedure is because it doesn’t leave any devices behind. Other glaucoma procedures use stents to open the drainage canal; we do those procedures as well, but I prefer viscodilation.”

Cataract surgery alone can reduce a person’s intraocular pressure, but the viscodilation procedure can nearly double that decrease in pressure, according to Dr. Vander Woude.

Of the glaucoma procedures requiring stents, the one Dr. Vander Woude recommends most calls for the implantation of a device called the XEN® stent. This procedure is for moderate to severe glaucoma, and it’s proven very effective, Dr. Vander Woude says.

“That one has been working very well in terms of getting patients off a lot of their medications, if not all their medications, and we’ve found that if we first put in an anti-scarring medication, then the stent works better and lasts longer.”

LASIK and Cornea Surgery

Another one of the doctor’s preferred surgeries is LASIK (laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis), which he had when he was younger. LASIK is a refractive surgery that Dr. Vander Woude refers to as a “life-changer” because it can correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, even astigmatism.

Another condition that can be corrected surgically is Fuchs’ dystrophy, which is the buildup of fluid in the cornea (the clear layer on the front of the eye) that can cause swelling or thickening of the cornea and lead to blurred or cloudy vision or eye discomfort.

“That’s a very common disorder, but there’s a corneal transplant procedure for that called DMEK (Descemet’s membrane endothelial keratoplasty) that I perform where we just replace the inner layer of the tissue,” Dr. Vander Woude reveals.

“This is a more advanced procedure technically, and the best thing about it is that it offers the patient the potential for near perfect vision again. We see patients all the time get back to 20/20 vision following this procedure, so it’s very effective.

“It’s also a safe and efficient procedure, and again, this is just one of the many procedures that can be performed at the Center for Advanced Eye Care, where we offer a full range of services for patients of all ages.”

© FHCN article by Roy Cummings. Photos by Jordan Pysz. mkb


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