Sports Anchor Has Surgery to Throw Away Glasses - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

5/25/04

Sports Anchor Has Surgery to Throw Away Glasses

You know Greg Miller, the weekend sports anchor at NewsChannel 11, but do you notice anything different about him on TV now? Because something is different, and we were there when he got it.

There is one thing Greg Miller has wanted since he was very young; to be able to see without his glasses.

"I went to the doctor, and he said, ' yeah, you're as blind as a bat,'" says Greg.

And as he grew, his eyes got worse and his glasses got bigger. Even his contacts were so thick that they were really uncomfortable.

Finally, Greg wore his glasses into the Texas Tech Laser Vision Institute hoping that would be the last time he'd wear them or his contacts.

"He was counting fingers at six feet in the right eye and five feet in the left, which means he couldn't see the big "E"," says Christina Carrizales, TTU optical technician.

Since the FDA approved laser eye surgery about 10 years ago, over a million treatments have been successful worldwide. The procedure takes about 15 minutes for each eye and is relatively painless.

Greg was awake and talking to the surgeon as he peeled back the top layer of the cornea and used a laser to reshape the cornea by removing tissue smaller than the width of a single human hair. Usually, it takes less than one minute of laser time, but Greg's eyes were so bad that he needed more than two minutes on each eye.

The Lasik procedure looks the same as it has for years, but there is a difference at Texas Tech. They're using a new FDA approved laser that locks onto the eye and tracks its movement at 4,000 times a second.

"The new equipment is able to measure aberrations that for the past 200 years we couldn't measure," says Dr. David McCartney, TTUHSC Chairman of Opthalmology.

That means the accuracy is so precise now they can treat irregularities that go beyond the conventional laser correction.

Finally for Greg, the aberrations or abnormalities are corrected and the flap is folded back over the cornea. Immediately after the surgery, Greg sits up and can read a clock, something he wouldn't have seen before.

"Feels like an eyelash. That's as bad as it gets," says Dr. Lambert.

Most patients are able to return to work within 48 hours. Greg was lucky. He was back on the air the next night.

So, what does Greg think, after waiting to get what he really wanted all those years for Christmas?

"It's worth it. It's worth it," says Greg.

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