People are very particular about their eyes, which are poetically referred to as windows to the souls. These organs are so sensitive that even the smallest bits of intrusions can cause immense discomfort.
It is not surprising therefore that successful medical practice involving the eyes could only take place with testimonials of patients who benefit from the gentle but expert touch of eye doctors.
The EYE REPUBLIC Ophthalmology Clinic is a Philippine network of hospital-based, sub-specialty practice eye clinics around Metro Manila is one such organization that grew out of referrals of clients Prominent ophthalmologist Dr. Manolette Roque presents EYE REPUBLIC’s vision for excellence in service and its path to growth.
EYE REPUBLIC introduced multi platform, multi center laser and non-laser vision correction in the Philippines in 2003. People from all over the Philippines, the U.S. and over 30 countries worldwide come to us for treatment. But no matter how good we are at it, if the procedure isn’t right for you, you can trust us to tell you.
We have built upon a word-of-mouth clientèle desiring the flexibility that we offer while providing a single high standard of eye care for all. Clients satisfied with our services serve as our ambassadors spreading goodwill all over.
We work on a “pay it forward” dictum, believing and understanding that providing excellent service to each of our clients generates an exponential increase in referrals
In good time, health care providers, consolidators, travel agencies, and government institutions, began to take notice of our patient-centric services and successful results. By linking up with fellow stakeholders, such as the Philippine Medical Tourism Inc. (PMTI), a company that provides convenient packaged services designed for the individual who is seeking cost-effective medical and wellness programs outside his country of residence, our network has expanded exponentially.
By aligning ourselves with other major stakeholders in eye care service and delivery, our practice currently offers laser refractive surgery using four different platforms: VISX STAR S4 with IR and WaveScan CustomVue System, Carl Zeiss Meditec MEL 80, Bausch & Lomb Technolas 217 Z100 Zyoptix System, and CustomVis PULZAR Z1, located in different centers of excellence.
Our clients are very pleased to know that they have options with respect to platforms and locations. Having access to the popular platforms used in the US, Europe and Australia, provides our global clientèle with the unmatched flexibility to take charge of their refractive journey.
After weighing pros and cons, it’s good to know that there are world-class eye care facilities, offering inexpensive, modern treatment in the Philippines. When costs may be reduced by half and a nice vacation in a desirable destination gets thrown into the deal, Philippine medical tourism is considered for corrective eye surgery.
Corrective eye surgery
We offer a wide variety of vision correction procedures. For most people, refractive surgery produces a lifestyle change; it’s not simply a medical procedure. We perform standard and customized (wavefront) PRK, LASEK, EpiLASIK, and LASIK for myopia, hyperopia, astigmatism, and presbyopia.
Reshaping the cornea using laser or radiofrequency is the more common method of vision correction. Laser eye correction reshapes the cornea by removing part of the corneal tissue. The technical term for this is “ablation” but “vaporizing” is a good way to describe what happens. This can be done on the surface of the eye as in photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) or it can be done underneath a flap as in laser in situ keratomilieusis (LASIK).
There are other procedures available which are variations of PRK or LASIK. Millions of laser vision correction procedures have been performed worldwide and tens of thousands have been performed in the Philippines. This is a testament to the relative safety and efficacy of laser vision correction procedures.
For people who actively engage in contact sports and lead a highly physical lifestyle, advanced surface ablation or PRK and its variants, LASEK, EpiLASIK, and no-alcohol Amoils epithelial brush PRK, are the preferred methods of laser vision correction. The outermost surface of the cornea is directly treated with the laser. The initial discomfort during recovery associated with the procedure is justified by the excellent safety profile and postoperative visual acuity which equals or surpasses levels achieved with LASIK.
For people who demand instant gratification, LASIK provides quicker recovery. LASIK starts with creating a flap out of the outermost surface of the cornea and folding the flap over the same way one would open the cover of a book. This is followed by laser ablation of the inside of the cornea and then replacement of the flap (like closing a book) to cover the laser treated area. Because the area treated with laser is covered there is minimal discomfort and patients can usually go back to work the next day. Our patients are so happy that they can see clearly so soon after the procedure.
LASIK and PRK, either standard or customized, can be used for people with low to moderate hyperopia, low to high myopia, and low to high astigmatism. High and extremely high hyperopia, extremely high myopia and extremely high astigmatism might not do well with laser eye correction.
There are other treatment modalities available for those individuals whose errors of refraction are so extreme that corneal laser treatment is not possible.
These people may be candidates for treatments that modify the lens instead. The traditional method for this has been to remove the person’s natural lens and replace it with an artificial lens inside the eye the power of which has been calculated to give the person good vision without glasses.
Called “clear lens extraction and replacement” or “refractive lens exchange”, the surgery is performed in exactly the same way as a cataract operation except that in this case the lens being removed is still clear and without cataract. The availability of premium lenses (aspheric, toric, multifocal, accommodative) for implantation provides each person with numerous choices to fit their specific needs.
A relatively new technique that we offer to our younger patients involves the insertion of an artificial lens in front of the natural lens without removing the natural lens. The proper term for this is a “phakic intraocular lens” but it has been called “implantable contact lenses” by some. This leaves the natural lens intact so the patient can still accommodate naturally so a multifocal lens implant or reading glasses are not needed.
Presbyopia can be treated by reshaping the cornea with laser or radiofrequency (via conductive keratoplasty) or by surgically replacing the lens. The usual technology of LASIK or PRK can be used to correct one eye for distance and one eye for near. This is called monovision or compromise vision. Not everyone can tolerate this type of vision and it is not recommended for those who need stereoscopic vision for their work or hobbies.
Western versus Asian
The most common experience that all our medical tourists share with us is the inherently unique personalized care that they receive from all health care providers in the Philippines. It is this universal experience that attests to the sincerity by which this care is delivered.
Manolette Roque, MD, MBA, FPAO
Dr. Manolette Roque is a prominent ophthalmologist in the Philippines whose practice includes general ophthalmology and cataract surgery with subspecialty work in uveitis and ocular immunology, cornea and external disease, and refractive surgery. Together with his team, Dr. Roque oversees a practice spanning four clinics spread over Metro Manila.
Dr. Roque trained in ophthalmology at the University of the Philippines-Philippine General Hospital and went on to the Harvard Medical School’s Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary for fellowship training in Ocular Immunology and Uveitis and observership in Cornea and Refractive Surgery. He is certified by the Philippine Board of Ophthalmology and is a Fellow of the Philippine Academy of Ophthalmology. Dr. Roque practices at Asian Hospital and Medical Center and St. Luke’s Medical Center, and is affiliated with numerous hospitals and eye centers in Metro Manila. He may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.