Our View: Legislature Must Keep Eye Surgery Safe - Safe Surgery NC

Our View: Legislature Must Keep Eye Surgery Safe

This article was written by Winston-Salem Journal. 


It’s plain to see that bills filed in the state legislature that would allow optometrists to perform surgical procedures that are currently restricted to the domain of ophthalmologists is a bad idea. Both House Bill 36 and Senate Bill 342 need to die quickly. The risks to the public’s health are too great.

The bills would allow optometrists to perform procedures that include two laser procedures for glaucoma, one type of laser surgery for cataracts and removal of benign lesions around the eyes, The Associated Press reported last week. The bills specifically exclude some surgeries, but leave the door open to hundreds more if they pass.

Optometrists generally do a great job conducting eye exams and writing prescriptions for eye glasses, work that requires skill and knowledge. But even with day-training, their skill and knowledge won’t adequately match that of ophthalmologists, or eye surgeons, who train rigorously and thoroughly to deal with many contingencies that could rise during risky surgery.


Publication: Winston-Salem Journal

Date Published: April 2, 2017

HB36 is a dangerous bill before the North Carolina General Assembly. If passed, HB36 will enable Optometrists, who did not attend medical school, the ability to perform eye surgery within our state.