Eye surgeon and Ponte Vedra resident Dr. Arun Gulani is the inventor of the “Sparkle” surgery for “red eyes” that has global patients traveling to the First Coast to seek his services.
Red eyes from pterygium (pronounced ter-igee-um) — a wedge-shaped growth on the white of the eyes that presents an ungainly and irritating condition — are common in Florida, especially among individuals exposed to long durations of sunlight. According to Gulani, pterygium is common in sports and recreation enthusiasts such as golfers and surfers.
It is a condition that can affect anybody, though, said Gulani. Patients usually complain about how red their eyes look, how irritated and dry they feel and also in some cases that it has progressed to adversely affect their vision.
Gulani has designed special diamond instruments that he uses for the “Sparkle” surgery, along with human placental membranes grafted to the eye to promote healing after surgery. He has also devised a “No–Stitch” technique using glue instead of stitches. Pro golfer Donnie Hammond was among the first in the North Florida area to undergo this glue technique.
According to Gulani’s office, this surgical technique has resulted in safe and painless outcomes with long-term success over 16 years. Gulani recently took this surgery to another level by performing the world’s first 3D “No-Stitch” pterygium surgery on a local dental surgeon successfully.
Gulani said prevention is still the best medicine. Since pterygiums are most commonly caused by sun exposure, he said protecting the eyes from sun, dust and wind is recommended, including wearing good sunglasses with UV protection. Gulani believes that pterygium patients should not be wearing contact lenses since they can increase dryness and irritate the pterygium, making it grow even more.
According to Gulani, dryness is often associated with pterygium and should be correctly diagnosed and evaluated since each dry eye case is different. Instead of using artificial tears, Gulani recommends individualized protocols to help patients with this relentless symptom. Also, most pterygiums are associated with vision errors, including nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism, along with reading glasses depending on age, which now can be corrected with a no cut, no flap next-gen Lasek technique so they can see without glasses, he added.
Additionally, he said pterygium can be associated with cataracts in elderly patients, who can also benefit from the “Sparkle” “No-Stich” surgery, followed by custom-designed cataract surgery using new generation multifocal lens implants. These enable them to see at all distances without using glasses.
According to Gulani, many patients that were not designated as a candidate for the surgery can be corrected using advanced technologies with laser precision. Even patients with keratoconus, astigmatism, corneal scars and dry eyes can become candidates, he said. Patients with previous lasik, cataract or Radial Keratotomy (RK) surgery can also avail of vision without glasses.
Dr.Gulani teaches these techniques to eye surgeons worldwide and is currently authoring a full text book for eye surgeons, sharing his nearly three decades of experience with thousands of patients globally.
Gulani Vision Institute is located at 8075 Gate Parkway in Jacksonville. Visit http://gulanivision.com/ for more information.