Experience Counts for Cataract Surgery
by Gina Birch
Serving the Southwest Florida community for 30 years, Dr. Thomas Quigley, founder of Quigley Eye Specialists, is not only celebrated locally, he is also one of the leading cataract surgeons in the country.
It’s not just the fact that Dr. Quigley has been performing this surgery for three decades that puts him at the top of the list, it’s also the sheer number of surgeries preformed within those years.
You know the old adage ‘practice makes perfect?’ Consider these figures; where most cataract surgeons average a few thousand cases in a lifetime, Dr. Quigley has performed more than 80,000 cataract procedures to date.
If you have cataracts, choosing the right surgeon is a big decision, and experience is one of the most important things to consider. When you choose a surgeon who is in the top 1% of his or her profession nationwide, the complication rate for that surgeon is typically lower.
For example, given Dr. Quigley’s experience with cataract surgery, his complication rate is significantly lower than the national average.
Dr. Quigley grew up in a small town in Mississippi, the son of a general medical practitioner. Graduating second in his class while attending medical school at LSU, Dr. Quigley knew he wanted to stay in the south. Visiting a friend in Naples he remembers his first impressions, “It was a beautiful area. (Chuckling) And I noticed it was a popular place to retire.”
Wanting to specialize in eye care for an aging population, it was an important observation. At the time, the area was vastly under served; the average wait to see an ophthalmologist was three months.
Setting up practice in Fort Myers with a staff of two and zero patients, his dedication, commitment and excellent care propelled Quigley Eye Specialist to where it is today; eight offices where more cataract surgeries are preformed than any other practice in Southwest Florida.
Dr. Quigley is a ‘super specialist.’ He explains, “It’s because I focus exclusive-y on cataracts, no other surgery. I’m not sure there is another doctor who does that, it’s unusual to find.”
Passionate about putting together the best team possible to serve the needs of his patients, Dr. Quigley literally scoured the globe looking for the most talented surgeons. His A-team of doctors focuses on patients with conditions in addition to cataracts, such as glaucoma or cornea problems.
When choosing a doctor for cataract surgery, besides experience, you should also pick one who is conservative according to Dr. Quigley. He explains, “If you have a cataract but it doesn’t affect your quality of life, you may be able to hold off surgery.”
Cataracts grow at different rates and some people have them for years before their vision is affected. Dr. Quigley advises having cataracts removed when you can no longer do things you’ve always been able to do such as read, watch television or drive at night.
Waiting until this happens can help patients prepare financially for the surgery. Quigley Eye Specialists not only provides financing but also gives the gift of free sight-saving cataract surgery to those without insurance or means to pay for it.
To date, Dr. Quigley has performed some 2000 free cataract surgeries to the uninsured in our Southwest Florida community.
“Cataract surgery is one of the most common of all surgeries.” He continues, “We have happy patients and great results. When patients see better it affects their quality of life. The surgery is brief and painless, the success rate is high, and it ends up being a good experience for the patient.”
If his experience, passion, and philosophy aren’t enough to convince you, ask your optometrist or other medical professionals who they would send their mother to for sight-saving cataract surgery. All bets are in they’ll say Dr. Quigley and Quigley Eye specialists.