QUALIFICATIONS Thomas A. Hanscom, M.D. has been one of Southern California¡¦s leading retinal surgeons for more then twenty years. After undergraduate and medical degrees at the University of Illinois (where his two older brothers also completed medical school) he served his internship at the Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center. He was resident physician in ophthalmology at the University of Florida in Gainesville. To further specialize in retinal surgery, Dr. Hanscom completed two post-residency fellowships. The first year was at Jules Stein Eye Institute, UCLA, and the second at Duke University. Dr. Hanscom was privileged to be the first retinal fellow at Duke, working with Dr. Robert Machemer, acknowledged to be the ¡§founder¡¨ of modern vitreous surgery. Dr. Hanscom became certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology, and began private practice in Santa Monica, CA. Dr. Hanscom is a member of the Retina Society, the exclusive national body of academic and private retinal specialists. He is Clinical Associate Professor of Ophthalmology at UCLA. He is a recipient of the Honor Award for contributions to the American Academy of Ophthalmology. Author of more then twenty journal articles, and has given more then one hundred scientific presentations at professional meetings. SURGERY FOR ¡§FLOATERS¡¨ Most floaters are benign and need no treatment. In many cases a good examination (confirming that the retina is normal), and reassurance is all that is needed. If floaters remain a problem and interfere with lifestyle, vitrectomy can be considered. Risks include cataract, infection and retinal detachment. In 21 years of practice, he has performed more than two thousand vitrectomy procedures; forty of these have been for floaters. Virtually all (floater) patients have noted improvement; many patients have stated that their life has been improved enormously by the procedure. Why do most ophthalmologists not recommend vitrectomy for floaters? „« Some ophthalmologists still remember vitrectomy as a high risk, long, and involved procedure. It is now performed as an outpatient, and takes only about forty minutes. „« Some ophthalmologists (mostly retinal specialists) consider floaters ¡§trivial.¡¨ They think that no procedure, no matter how low the risk, is justified for patients without a truly ¡§serious¡¨ retinal disorder. While these points are true for most patients, there are some people for whom floaters make normal activities almost impossible. What about YAG laser treatment, enzymes, and other treatments for floaters? Dr. Hanscom tried YAG laser treatment of floaters many years ago. Although the YAG laser can break up floaters, the debris remains and most patients are not improved. Enzymes can dissolve the vitreous, but they require injection into the eye, and they cause severe inflammation. For patients living outside the Los Angeles area, evaluation and surgery can be arranged in different ways; 1. The patient could come to Santa Monica and have an office consultation, then think about it and come back later for the surgery. 2. The patient could come to Santa Monica for a consultation, with the surgery tentatively scheduled for the following day. The procedure is an outpatient at Saint John¡¦s Hospital, lasting about 35 minutes. The anesthesia is local with sedation. There are no postoperative restrictions. The patient would have to stay in Santa Monica for 3-4 days (if visiting from out of town) for followup visits; then could return home. We suggest ¡§The Gateway Hotel¡¨ located directly across the street from the hospital. They give outpatient discount for Saint John¡¦s Hospital patients. Hotel address : 1920 Santa Monica Blvd. (310) 829-9100 COST Most insurance plans would cover the surgery, although some HMO or restricted plans would not cover it. In those cases, payment would be made in advance. Currently the fee is $2300, and the hospital facility fee (which includes anesthesia) is about $2300. Thomas A. Hanscom, M.D. 2021 Santa Monica Blvd. Suite 720E Santa Monica, Ca. 1-310-829-3303 1-800-940-0019 1-310-829-3301 Fax e-mail: drhanscom@retinalsurgeon.com TESTIMONIAL One month ago I had a "floater only" vitrectomy. I am 100% floater free in my operated eye. I'd like to share my experience so that it may help you. First, some background. I am 38 yrs. old. I got my first floater when I was 25. It drove me crazy for quite some time. Over the yrs. I got use to it. Each yr. I would receive more floaters. Over the summer of this yr. on a trip to Myrtle Beach I began to get them in my left eye and a sudden onset of an extreme amount in my right. I became very depressed. My quality of life sucked! I hated to go outside, office work was miserable. I did not want to get out of bed. I went to a dr. like your suppose to do when a PVD happens. He patted me on the head basically, and told me to get use to it.I went home in tears and typed in the word "floater" on the internet and was connected to this site. I read the entry from Dr. Hanscom and began my research. I researched the doctor, I researched the vitrectomy, I became educated and empowered. I had to do something. I have 4 children. They needed their mother. Thanks to Sharon from Dallas, Joe, from New York, and Mark, from Calf. I decided to go thru with it, if the dr.would allow. Dr. Hanscom was great from the get-go! His office staff are super! I made many calls to them, ( I live on the east coast), and they answered every one of my questions. The dr. told me on the phone that he would have to examine my eyes first and there was no promise that he would preform the surgery. This is a very serious operation with risks, if they indeed occur. The % of these risks are low. However, I took it very serious that I could be in that 5%, and something may go wrong. I flew to Santa Monica and the dr. agreed based on the number of floaters I had in my right eye, as well as the degree in which they interfered with my daily life, to preform the surgery. I have had no problems, life is great, and I feel blessed each day that I found this doctor.I hope to have the left eye done next yr. if the dr will agree to do it. The surgery for me was painless, and I healed extremely well. K********