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Times® Optometry‘ Kassi Jackson chats with Richard Castillo, OD, DO, Consultant Ophthalmologist for Northeastern State University School of Optometry, Professor and Assistant Dean for Surgical Training and Education, as he shares his presentation, “Cryosurgery for Optometric Surgeons: A safe, non-invasive, non-aerosol approach to removing periocular lesions in the age of COVID-19,” which he presents at this year’s AOA Annual Meeting in Chicago.

“If anything has come out of the COVID pandemic, it’s the realization that as optometrists we have services to offer our community,” Castillo said. “We have services that impact the broader spectrum of healthcare, which can ease the burden that other healthcare providers have had over the past two years. Cryosurgery is actually the one of those things.”

Key points to remember:

Richard Castillo, DO, DO:

“It’s something that’s available, which again is effective and cost-effective for your patients.

That’s something I would say to anyone who’s graduated from optometry school in the last 50 years who, you know, can manipulate instruments around the eye – and are comfortable working around the eye, can definitely learn this technique.

It offers the benefit to the patient that you don’t really need anesthetic injections for the vast majority of them. And that’s a big plus.

People don’t like getting injections around their eye, and as soon as they hear, “Sell, if we do it like that, I don’t need to give you an injection.” They’ll look at me and say, “Wait a minute, no gunshot? That’s what I want!” And then I’ll say, “Well, but you know, understand it’ll take a little longer, you know, healing takes a little longer.”

In the end, the result is just as good…

I think it’s a market builder. You know, it’s going to be appealing to the patient because it’s not as scary as other ways of treating these lesions.

I think it’s good for practice, it will appeal to a certain demographic of patients who maybe want work done, or need work, but yet, you know, they’re kind of put off by the conventional methods we use to remove the lesions. the eye in the eyelid.”

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