Miss. deputy first in state to receive cutting-edge eye procedure

Miss. deputy first in state to receive cutting-edge eye procedure

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - Imagine having a high-risk job that requires you to be alert and aware of your surroundings, but your vision is blurred.

A Mississippi deputy is now seeing clearly after a doctor at Southern Eye Center of Hattiesburg performed a cutting-edge procedure for the first time in Mississippi.

“I am a deputy sheriff in Smith County, and it's hard especially during the summer getting a call getting out on a traffic stop,” said John Darden. “I walk up and am not able to see because my glasses are fogged up.”

Darden set his sights on having a procedure that could change this and make state history.

“The Visian I.C.L. TORIC treats astigmatism as well as high degrees of nearsightedness,” said Dr. Cameron Griffith with Southern Eye Center.

It’s also called the Implantable Collamer Lens.

“It’s for patients who are not great candidates for LASIK," Griffith said. “It’s either outside of the parameters of what the LASIK is able to treat, for example, they are too nearsighted or they have too much of astigmatism.”

Griffith said over 96% of patients who've had this procedure report 20/20 vision or better very quickly.

“Already on the way here or even the day after surgery I could read tag numbers so much easier from distances I've never been able to see before,” Darden said.

The procedure is described as a efficient and painless surgery.

“No pain really through the whole procedure. It was really easy,” said Darden.

“Plant the lens, construct the pupil, and we’re done. Super easy,” Griffith said.

Griffith knows poor eyesight cold put you in a life or death situation. Accidents or mishaps can be avoided by simply seeing clearly.

"This is really near and dear to my heart because my house caught on fire when I was a child. These are patients that cannot get out of a burning house if they can’t find their glasses,” Griffith said.

Copyright 2019 WDAM. All rights reserved.