BY MARTIE EMORY
When Dr. Vic Khemsara moved his family to Winston-Salem in 2008, he not only felt his deep faith was guiding him, but he also knew that along with his beliefs, serving patients with a strong sense of commitment would be the foundation of his new eye care practice.
Summit Eye Care opened its doors in 2009, with a passion and a promise to focus on correcting vision and maintaining it for a lifetime. Long-time patients agree they have always felt welcomed, respected, and given complete attention from the first phone call to schedule an appointment, to the moment they check out.
Now, over ten years later, Triad residents of all ages (they see children as young as five) still receive the finest care possible from Summit Eye Care, thanks to a supremely dedicated staff who continuously strives for an improved patient experience while nurturing what is such an important aspect of our overall health: our eyesight. With services that range from general exams and complete optical services for the entire family, to treating glaucoma and cataracts – including enormously successful laser cataract surgery – Dr. Khemsara, Dr. Keith Biggs, and Dr. Steve Laymon share a philosophy of investing as a team to deliver the ultimate in patient care. As Dr. Biggs explains, “We strive to treat every patient like family!” Their two locations – just off Stratford Road in Winston-Salem with 20 employees, and in downtown Mocksville, with nine employees – provide spacious settings that are also continuing to expand!
Despite the challenges of most of the past year, and working to implement a focus on practicing safe distancing, wearing masks, and continuing their regular safety procedures of thorough cleaning between patients and vigilant handwashing, Summit is keeping up with all CDC regulations. While keeping their practice safe for patients and staff alike, they have also made the most of some exciting growth opportunities.
THE NEW SURGICAL CENTER
Having just opened in October, Summit Eye Care’s new surgical center is welcoming patients who now feel comfortable scheduling much-needed surgical procedures. “I decided to open a surgery center to provide state-of-the-art care and equipment, and an exceptional surgical experience for our patients,” says Dr. Khemsara. Proud of their ability to grow and learn as they add more services and technology, doctors will be performing several different surgeries here, including cataract, ICL (implantable collamer lens), and RLE (refractive lens exchange) surgeries.
The practice is excited to offer patients the Implantable Collamer Lens procedure, or ICL for short. The ICL procedure corrects for moderate to severe myopia (nearsightedness) and astigmatism. Many patients have been told that LASIK is not an option for their eyes for several reasons, such as not having enough corneal tissue. The benefit to ICL is that no corneal tissue is removed. Unlike LASIK, ICL procedures do not damage the corneal nerves within the eye, thus helping to reduce the major side effect of dry eye disease.
For patients in their 40s and 50s, Refractive Lens Exchange reduces or eliminates their dependence on glasses or contact lenses. Both eyes are typically done on the same day.
At each stage of the planning process for the surgery center, the Summit staff kept the patient experience at the forefront of their minds. They brought in the latest equipment, including 3D technology, because they always want the best outcomes for their patients, as well as a dedicated waiting room, pre- and post-operative areas, and two suites where the actual procedures take place.
THE DRY EYE CENTER
Increasingly common among patients is dry eye, and the practice is also focusing on easing this condition that can easily disrupt daily comfort. Between 16 and 49 million people in the United States suffer with dry eye, which is roughly 5 to 15% of the population. In fact, Google trends for the topic “dry eye syndrome” have doubled from 2010-2020 and include symptoms such as sandy, gritty, burning, watery eyes with fluctuating vision, redness, sensitivity to light, and eye fatigue.
What sets Summit apart in dry eye care is determining the exact type of dry eye that the patient suffers from, so they can more efficiently treat the condition. Typical risk factors for dry eye can include age, sex (females are at higher risk), medications, level of daily computer use, and environment – both home and work. The Dry Eye Center is at Summit’s Winston-Salem location and is led by Dr. Biggs, who is also the practice’s contact lens specialist.
State-of-the-art equipment at the Dry Eye Center analyzes the tear film to give exact metrics to identify the type of irritation and to determine the best treatment. Summit offers Lipiflow, which helps to treat the most common form of dry eye (meibomian gland dysfunction), IPL or intense pulse light (which treats inflammation of the lids and rosacea) helping to improve symptoms and underlying causes, blephex (in office exfoliation of the lids and lash margin) which helps to treat blepharitis, as well as a number of other services. Above all, patient commitment is their first priority.
Summit is also excited to share that their Mocksville location will have a beautiful new, spacious facility coming in early 2021! Dr. Laymon (who has practiced optometry for 30-plus years) and the staff will be centrally located in town, providing yet another growth opportunity to serve the community.
Summit Eye Care is conveniently located in Winston-Salem at 3073 Trenwest Drive, 336-765-0960, and in Mocksville, at 198 Hospital Street, 336-751-5734. To learn more about their services and staff, visit Summiteyecare.net. Office hours are Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.