Q: Can you describe what the Specular Microscope is used for and give a basic sense of how it works.
Dr. Galbrecht: The CellChek Specular Microscope captures a digital picture of the endothelium; the inner most layer of the cornea, and evaluates the overall health.
Q: How does viewing the corneal endothelium and checking the fluid levels help us to maintain the health of the cornea?
Dr. Galbrecht:By viewing the endothelium, we can determine if the patient is at risk for developing a corneal endothelium dystrophy or disease. It also allows us to demonstrate to a contact lens patient the damage they are incurring when over wearing their contacts.
Q: What types of eye diseases and disorders is this measurement significant for?
Dr. Galbrecht: CellChek is an invaluable tool to screen for corneal disease such as Fuch’s Dystrophy, Keratoconus, trauma, and abuse of contact lenses.
Q: What is it about this particular instrument that you find most exciting; the component that made you feel you need to invest in this for your practice?
Dr. Galbrecht: This instrument is invaluable when determining if a patient is a good, great, or bad candidate for refractive surgery and cataract surgery. Most patients do not know that you must have a healthy endothelium to undergo any type of surgery to the eye. This test gives us that information.
Q: Can you describe the patient experience when you use the Specular Microscope?
Dr. Galbrecht: It is similar to taking a picture of the back of the eye, except the picture is anterior. The patient looks at a green dot and a digital picture is taken. This picture is then evaluated.
Q: Do the patients appreciate the upgrade in equipment and technology?
Dr. Galbrecht: Yes! When you are able to demonstrate to a patient the effects of over wearing contacts or the progression of their corneal disease, it is better accepted because it is hard facts, not opinion.
Q: How does this new instrument improve comprehensive eye exams and or impact on other aspects of eye care?
Dr. Galbrecht: An endothelial cell count to verify that a patient’s cornea has an adequate endothelial cell density is an FDA labeling requirement for patient screening and selection prior to implantation of phakic intraocular lenses. Without an adequate endothelial cell count, surgery is contraindicated. The same testing criterion for endothelial cell count is being implemented for refractive surgery as well. Since a successful LASIK procedure requires adequate thickness after the procedure is performed, if the cell count is decreased, the patient will have unfavorable outcomes.
Q: To what patients do you recommend using this? Is it for patients with specific concerns or symptoms?
This test is ideal for patients wanting to undergo cataract surgery, refractive surgery, would like to wear contact lenses, and general corneal health assessment for those over 40 years of age.
Q: Can you share a particular story in which you were able to help a patient in a special way by using the Specular Microscope?
Dr. Galbrecht: Many patients do not see the harm in sleeping in their contact lenses. This test shows the direct correlation for the amount of time spent sleeping in contact lenses and the damage it causes. The education given should be a warning to the patient about how to better care for their eyes.
Q: Why did you choose this supplier to purchase this particular equipment?
Dr. Galbrecht: This supplier has the newest and latest equipment to test for this.
Dr. Galbrecht, a high-tech optometrist in Olathe, KS uses a Visual Field Analyzer (VFA) at her eye doctor’s office.