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Sun Times Feature Story

Over 50 Years Of Vision Problems

Over 50 years of vision problems corrected in minutes

   As he thinks back to the first time he recalled having problems with his vision, Raymond Poirier has to laugh for a minute.
What the 61-year-old was bringing himself back to was the age of 8, Catholic school in his home state of Rhode Island, where everyone kept telling him that many of his problems didn't come from him not knowing things, but actually not being able to see them.
   "I was a defiant, young kid who really didn't want to wear glasses," Poirier said. "But I guess every child has that certain vanity."
   While vision problems have plagued him for much of his life, other unfortunate circumstances have also surrounded Poirier's lengthy career as a construction worker. Within the struggle to see - with eye covering protecting him - a severe accident broke both of his legs and truly had Poirier scrambling to just live each day.
   "Pain was crazy, but the fact that I now had vision problems and two bad legs, compounded the craziness," Poirier said. "It was like a curse or something."
   While being dependent on pain relief medicine, Poirier decided to head to south Florida to spend time with a mother who had been ill. While there were so many negatives surrounding his life, the trip to take care of his mother turned out to be - a life changer.
   While battling through contacts and miracle cures for his need to wear glasses for distance and near, Poirier headed to the world-famous Bascom Palmer Institute in Miami - where plenty of answers came his way, but the results fell short.
"They told me that if I got a special contact lens, my vision would be good," Poirier recalled. "It wasn't and I was a huge mess."  This was the Monovision option, one eye for distance, one eye for near.
   Still searching for the answers to correcting his vision, it was  his turn to finally get some positive news in his life when Poirier, who took his mother for a visit to Dr. Stanley Braverman in Hallandale Beach, read an article  on the wall inside the office.
   "I remember reading that story about Laser Vision Correction" Poirier said. "It was the best decision ever. From the moment I met Dr. Braverman, I was blown away with how much he knew exactly what I was experiencing."
When Dr. Braverman explained the procedure, Poirier was sold. He was ready to finally make that decision - even with all he had been through physically and emotionally.
   "It was a Tuesday, and kidding with Dr. Braverman about when we could do this procedure, I said what about tomorrow," Poirier recalled. "Without hesitation, he turned to me and said what about Thursday! Now, that was something that really surprised me."
    Anxious for the surgery to take place, Poirier set up the exact time his mother would drop him off and pick him, giving a block of time for the PresbyLasik procedure to be performed. As the procedure started at 10:30, a few clicks later and a world was changed. The eyesight that had failed him for much of his life had been corrected.
   The avid hunter and fisherman, who had been restricted with fogging-eye protectors and other things that truly prevented him from fully enjoying his life, had finally noticed a change - and it was quick.
   "When Dr. Braverman left the room for a moment, I kind of looked to my right and left and was really blown away," Poirier explained. "It was like a feeling that something had happened in such a positive way to make my life better."
   While his vision luck has turned out to be a blessing, Poirier still can't avoid the injury bug. During a recent trip with hunting and fishing friends in Maine, he slipped on a wet rock and broke his shoulder. Although he quickly kicked the pain pills that became essential after the accident, he told Dr. Braverman that it was indeed all his fault.
   "I wanted to assure him that I saw that rock perfectly," Poirier laughed. "I could not be more satisfied with the outcome."

NEAR-FAR MULTIFOCAL PRESBYLASIK: Correction for two kinds of vision problems
New procedure can correct both Distance and Near Vision

   Dr. Braverman started doing the PresbyLasik procedure over two years ago. It was introduced into the United States approximately six years ago, having originally been done using the Allegretto Wavelight femtosecond laser by an Italian Eye Surgeon, Dr. Roberto Pinelli. This is the same Laser that Dr. Braverman uses. Dr. Braverman said “this technique was developed by taking what Eye Surgeons already knew about how Lasik changes the shape of the front of the eye to eliminate glasses, and just modifying the techniques to be able to reduce or eliminate the need for distance glasses, as well as reading glasses."

    All Laser Lasik surgery is performed on a patient’s cornea, which provides most of the focusing power when light enters the eye. Topical anesthetic drops are applied to the eye.  The surgeon first uses a special Ziemer LDV femtosecond laser to create a thin layer of corneal tissue that can be folded back (a corneal flap).  Then, another type of laser (an Allegretto Eye-Q excimer laser) is used to reshape the underlying cornea, painlessly.    After the excimer laser treatment, the corneal flap is repositioned and bonds back into place naturally. The corneal reshaping improves the focusing power of the cornea.
    Although no one can promise patients “perfect” vision, most Laser Vision Correction patients with mild to moderate prescriptions with or without astigmatism, do achieve 20/20 vision.
This means that they no longer need glasses or contacts to drive, play most sports, and watch TV. Also, you can participate in careers requiring good unaided vision, such as policemen or firemen need.

    Dr. Stanley Braverman is a Voluntary Assistant Clinical Professor at the University of Miami School of Medicine and the Anne Bates Leach Eye Hospital/Bascom Palmer Eye Institute. He is also an Adjunct Associate Clinical Professor at the Nova Southeastern School of Optometry. In addition to treating patients, Dr. Braverman, a board certified ophthalmologist, has been a medical researcher, and is the inventor of several eye surgical instruments, and author of many articles for medical journals.  Dr. Braverman's newly trademarked LACE™  procedure (Laser Assisted Cataract Extraction) provides the best possible cataract surgical results. He has lectured at professional meetings about upgraded lens implants, advanced cataract surgery and LASIK, both nationally and internationally. He has recently been recognized by Newsweek Magazine as one of the Fifteen Leaders in Laser Eye Surgery in 2011, and recently co-authored a book on Z-Lasik that is being distributed internationally.  You can find it on
   An initial cataract or LASIK consultation can be scheduled by calling the Braverman Eye Center at:  (954) 458-2112 or (305) 374-8694.  For additional information please contact Regina Vasquez, Surgery Coordinator for cataract surgery, or Rosemary Hartford, LASIK Coordinator for LASIK surgery, or visit the Braverman Eye Center website at where you can watch a video of cataract or LASIK surgery and learn more about all of the latest advances in cataract surgery and upgraded lens implants, as well as LASIK Surgery, including Near-Far Multifocal PresbyLASIK, for patients over 40 years old who require glasses for both distance and near vision.
   In addition to Dr. Stanley Braverman, a Refractive Cataract and  LASIK Laser Vision Correction surgeon, your other sub-specialty eye care needs can also be evaluated and treated.  On staff at the Braverman Eye Center are Rashid Taher MD FACS and Tirso Lara MD FACS, Vitreo-Retinal surgeons; Andre Sarraga MD FACS, Ophthalmic Plastic, Reconstructive and Cosmetic Surgeon; Aarup Kubal MD FACS, Complex Glaucoma Specialist; Jesse Pelletier MD, FACS, Corneal Surgeon; Eric Ciliberti MD, Neuro-Ophthalmologist; and Ryan Y. Hargreaves OD and Shalonda McCallum OD.  All sub-specialist surgeons at the Braverman Eye Center are Board Certified.