Local Eye Surgeon Uses New Technology To Perform Cataract Surgery

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Mike Schuh joined WJZ Eyewitness News as a general assignment reporter...
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TOWSON (WJZ) — An eye surgeon near Towson has become one of the first in the country to use a new technology to perform cataract surgery.

Mike Schuh reports the doctor has invested more than $1 million.

For the second time, Joy Savage is being wheeled into cataract surgery. The results after the procedure on her right eye amazed her.

“I woke up and could see and read the clock across the room, and I haven’t been able to do that without glasses since I was a child,” said Savage.

She didn’t opt for traditional surgery where a surgeon uses tiny knives.  That machine next to her is a laser, a million-dollar machine.

Surgeons are understandably proud of their knife skills, so listen to this.

“So I’ve been operating for 12 years. I think I have great hands, but the laser is better,” said Dr. Scott LaBorwit, Select Eye Care.

Doctors say the laser is more precise and the eye suffers less trauma.

Initially when these machines became available, LaBorwit was skeptical.

“When I saw the technology I fell off my chair. It’s so much better and so precise. That’s why I had to have this technology,” said LaBorwit.

That desire meant he took out a loan for a million-dollar machine.

Insurance doesn’t cover the extra cost, averaging a $1,000 cost per eye.

“You’re paying for precision and paying for better technology to make a safer process as well,” said LaBorwit.

For Savage, traditional surgery would be mostly covered by insurance.  A photographer, she gladly took out a loan to have the laser correct her eyes.

“I talked it over with my family and I wanted the best,” said Savage.

Besides having his own practices in Towson and Howard County, LaBorwit is an assistant professor at Hopkins and teaches cataract surgery.

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