Optometry Podcast: Meet Dr. Neda Shamie

Dr. Neda Shamie is passionate about her profession. Early in our interview she shares why ophthalmology drew her interest early in her medical school training: eyecare is one of the few professions where you can perform a surgery, and the patient sees the difference the very next day! As an ophthalmologist and corneal and refractive surgery specialist at Maloney Vision Institute in Los Angeles, she’s constantly re-energized about her profession by her day to day patient interactions.  And while her practice is known for their celebrity clients (see Cindy Crawford, Dennis Quaid, and Lindsey Vonn) her mission is to provide the best care for every single person in the chair.  We joked that most of the time she has no idea she’s even operating on a celebrity until a staff member says something afterwards – as a working mom and surgeon at the top of her career, she has little time for pop culture saturation.

When she first started in ophthalmology, most corneal conditions had one eventual treatment option: full thickness corneal transplant.  Now technology has allowed ophthalmology to offer so many less invasive (and better visual outcome!) treatment alternatives. Partnering with her optometric colleagues has been essential to her practice’s success.  Patients are typically in optometry’s chair first, and it’s important for optometrists to know what surgical options and techniques are available so that they know the right time to refer for surgical care and don’t wait until a condition is more advanced or more difficult to operate on.  Maloney Vision Institute has spent decades curating relationships between ophthalmology and optometry to improve patient outcomes, including offering local education events and speaking at conferences.

Co-management is vital to the success of her surgical procedures, and Dr. Shamie is a strong advocate of the continued dialogue between optometry and ophthalmology even after the patient’s day of surgery.  What should comanaging doctors be on the lookout for during the post-operative period? The most common issues she recommends doctors keep an eye out for are post-operative swelling or pressure spikes typically resulting from steroid use.

One of the biggest technological advances in recent years has been the FDA approval of corneal collagen cross-linking for the treatment of keratoconus. During the podcast, she shares her recommendations for optometrists embracing this new technology from initial referral through post-operative care. When should a doctor refer their keratoconus patient for cross-linking? It depends! If you have a young or progressing patient, they deserve to at least have the discussion about corneal collagen cross-linking to help reduce their risk of continued disease progression.  For patients in their late 40s or 50s that have been stable for years, corneal crosslinking is likely not warranted – there is little risk of progression at this point in their lifetime.

At Vision Expo West, Dr. Shamie presented co-management strategies for refractive, cataract and corneal procedures like corneal collagen crosslinking on a panel with ophthalmologists across multiple different specialties. Topics of the new session Collaborative Care: Upping Your Game included co-management and post-operative care for refractive surgery, cataracts, keratoconus, retina, and neurologic cases.

Be sure to follow along with Dr. Shamie via her Instagram @nedashamiemd

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