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INVENTOR OF EYE LASER SURGERY AT DÜNYA GÖZ (TURKİSH DAİLY NEWS)


5.4.2007

Thanks to the collaboration between University of Crete and Dünya Göz Hastanesi, the Turkish eye hospital chain has gained international prominence using the latest methods and techniques in eye surgery and has become a model hospital group in service quality.

DAMARIS KREMIDA
ISTANBUL – Turkish Daily News
Rector of Crete University Prof. Dr. Ioannis Pallikaris, known as the Father of eye laser – the method that has freed millions worldwide from their dependence on glasses – hopes to establish Turkey's Dünya Göz hospital as the biggest education and research institute in the world in a unique collaboration between his university and the world renown hospital. 

Pallikaris, also the president of the Association of European Cataract and Refractive Surgery, and his team of researchers at the University of Crete discovered in 1989 what is commonly known as LASIK – an acronym for Laser-Assisted in Situ Keratomileusis, a form of refractive laser eye surgery procedure performed to correct myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism. The scientist spends 2-3 days every month at Dünya Göz in Istanbul to help manage its services in refractive laser treatments. “My purpose here is to educate doctors in new technologies, discuss complex cases and help make certain decisions, and to organize higher quality of service,” he told the Turkish Daily News at his Istanbul office. His relationship with the Turkish eye clinic started when in 2000 he visited to speak at a seminar on refractive eye surgery. Since then he developed a friendship and collaboration with the Chairman of Dünya Göz's Eray Kapıcıoğlu, and the eye hospital chain. In 2003 the University of Crete, Faculty of Medicine, one of the leading institutes in the field of ophthalmology with its research and findings signed a “Joint Working Protocol” with Dünya Göz. Pallikaris explained that Dünya Göz was an obvious choice for a partnership with his University. “Dünya Göz is the biggest and best organized service provider in ophthalmology as far as I know, worldwide,” he said. With 10 hospitals in Turkey and two in Europe, Pallikaris explained that it is tough to accomplish what Dünya Göz has, in the maintenance of high quality and high volume of operations, spread out in so many clinics. “Medical service isn't like selling something in the supermarket. You're always at a point of holding quality with such volume,” he said. Organizing data infrastructure, patient follow-up and quality control has been his major contribution to this hospital he explained. Established in 1996, Dünya Göz offers services 24 hours a day and 365 days a year and has been named as the largest ophthalmology hospital in the world as its experienced doctors perform 20,000 examinations and 5,000 laser and eye operations per month.The average time of the refractive eye operation is less than five minutes long, requires only local anesthesia with drops, and the recovery is immediate. “This was the beauty of the procedure,” said Pallikaris. 

“The patient can see within a few hours without glasses.” He warned however that “laser is not the magic solution for everything” as there are many techniques which are appropriate for different cases.In the frame of health tourism which has become popular in European countries, Turkey with its state of the art technology and methods in the private hospitals is well positioned to claim a piece of the eye surgery pie, according to Pallikaris. "I think Turkey is a very good paradigm for this kind of service. It provides high quality, good service and it's cheap," he said. As a Greek traveling regularly to Turkey over the last three years, Pallikaris has been impressed by the similarities between Cretan families and Turkish families. “They're very close and they have trust and rules, and there's respect to the elderly.” But most importantly he is thankful for his close Turkish friends and collaborators. In an effort to create more partnerships like his with Dünya Göz, the University of Crete, has established the only department for Turkish Studies and Turkology in Greece, and under Pallikaris' rectorship a Turkish office that facilitates the communication between its research departments and those of other Turkish Universities.

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