Vision for the future

Dr. Sarah Khodadadeh
Dr. Sarah Khodadadeh, a fellowship trained glaucoma surgeon, conducts an eye exam at the Glaucoma Institute in Vero Beach. NEW VISION EYE CENTER PHOTOS

Vero Beach center offers world-class treatments for glaucoma patients

BY KERRY FIRTH

New Vision Eye Center is putting Vero Beach on the map with its world-class Glaucoma Institute that draws patients from far beyond its borders. The doors of the Glaucoma Institute at New Vision Eye Center opened in March, showcasing the most advanced equipment and two new, fellowship trained glaucoma surgeons, Dr. Mohamed Sayed and Dr. Sarah Khodadadeh.

“Our goal was to build a practice where folks would have all the ophthalmology subspecialty needs served in one place,” Dr. Paul Minnotti, founder of New Vision Eye Center, said. “That goal came to fruition with the addition of Dr. Sayed and Dr. Khodadadeh, and the subsequent opening of the new Glaucoma Institute.”

The center had outgrown its 19,000-square-foot facility, Minnotti explained, so they rented space across the street for the new Glaucoma Institute. The campus consists of three buildings. The original building that they began occupying in 2011, a leased building behind it where business billing and clinical research is done, and the building just east of that one where the Glaucoma Institute is housed. The institute has its own personality and identity so it helps people know where they are going yet remains convenient for all patients in its location directly across from the Indian River Medical Center.

“The field of ophthalmology is constantly changing and evolving with new surgical procedures, particularly in the treatment of glaucoma,” Minnotti continued. “We were offering glaucoma treatment but knew we could treat it better. What we really needed was some world-class surgeons and we set out to recruit the best we could find. Dr. Khodadadeh became available and shortly after Dr. Sayed found us.”

“Dr. Sayed is a respected authority in the field of glaucoma and he sits on many panels, does a lot of research, travels the globe lecturing and publishes many articles,” Minnotti boasted. “He left his position as assistant professor of Clinical Ophthalmology at the renowned Bascom Palmer Eye Institute in Miami to help us build the Glaucoma Institute. Having him join our team was the crown to our bold statement of world class eye care. He literally put us over the top and together with Dr. Khodadadeh there is no other practice that has two such devoted, well trained practitioners and surgeons.”

Dr. Mohamed Sayed
With the arrival of Dr. Mohamed Sayed, glaucoma patients at the center receive world-class care without having to leave Vero Beach.

IMPRESSIVE CREDENTIALS
Sayed completed fellowships in glaucoma and pediatric ophthalmology at Bascom Palmer, making him well equipped to address the needs of patients of all ages. He also completed fellowships at the International Council of Ophthalmology and the Royal College of Surgeons in the United Kingdom making him one of the most educated ophthalmologists in the world.

He is also an esteemed researcher who will be continuing his research from the Glaucoma Institute. He recently received a grant from the American Glaucoma Society to conduct cutting edge research on the use of novel artificial intelligence technologies in glaucoma management.

In July 2020, Sayed joined New Vision Eye Center with the mutual goal of building a state of the art glaucoma treatment center. Together they purchased the latest, most advanced glaucoma equipment on the market, comparable to any major academic medical center.

“Many procedures were not able to be performed here prior to my arrival and that of my fellow surgeon Dr. Khodadadeh,” Sayed explained. “My philosophy is that everyone should receive individualized care for glaucoma and no two patients are alike. Now anyone with glaucoma can get that advanced individualized care without leaving Vero Beach.

“Glaucoma is a disease of the optic nerve that is associated with higher than normal pressure within the eye and is the second leading cause of blindness,” Sayed continued. “It usually affects older patients who often have family members who have been diagnosed with glaucoma, but it can affect any age.”

SIGHT ROBBER
The most common form of glaucoma, open-angle glaucoma, is not associated with any symptoms until the disease is pretty advanced.

“It’s called the sneak thief of sight because it develops slowly without any noticeable sight loss for years,” Sayed said. “It’s frequently found by a routine eye exam when the doctor finds the optic nerves to look abnormal. Typically, blind spots in the peripheral vision go unnoticed because the central vision remains good until the last stage of the disease just before the patient goes blind.”

Fortunately, advanced technology at the Glaucoma Institute gives your physician the ability to diagnose glaucoma earlier than ever. Optical coherence tomography utilizes light rays to measure a cross section of the retina that allows the physician to get very precise measurements of the nerve layers of the eye. It is an invaluable tool for early detection and treatment.

“Glaucoma can be treated with eye drops, laser surgery or incisional surgery,” Sayed said. “We have all the most advanced equipment and utilize the latest techniques for every type and stage of glaucoma with new advances coming all the time. We are able to utilize minimally invasive surgical techniques that are proven safe and effective. We can even combine cataract surgery with many of these techniques such as implanting miniature stents that are no bigger than an eyelash.”

“One of the newest advances in the treatment of glaucoma is the surgical insertion of a tiny drainage device that allows the fluid to drain into the reservoir underneath the skin,” Minnotti revealed. “Our own Dr. Sayed had done more of those procedures than anyone else in the world. That’s pretty unique in little Vero Beach.”

The addition of the two new glaucoma surgeons brings the total number of ophthalmologists at New Vision Eye Center to six full-time and one part-time. The doctors are board certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology, members of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the Florida Medical Association, the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery, and the Indian River County Medical Society. A support staff of more than 100, who have all earned special distinction within their fields, completes the highly qualified team.

IF YOU’RE INTERESTED

Visit New Vision’s website at www.newvisioneyecenter.com or call 257.8700 for more information or to schedule an appointment.

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