Iowa City VA Health Care System

Ophthalmology Service

VA Ophthalmology Service is dedicated to providing the highest quality care to our veterans of military service. Since 1998, we have been fortunate in attracting greater numbers of veterans to our clinic seeing over 8,000 patient visits per year. Our surgical service performs about 400 major surgeries per year. The tremendous growth in our services has provided increased opportunities for our staff, residents, and faculty to excel in providing ophthalmologic care.

The Clinic

Resident uses YAG laser

The heart of the VA Clinic is our staff. We have two RNs with extensive ophthalmologic and surgical experience, an optometrist, an ophthalmic technician and a clerk, all who have dedicated their professional energy to veterans and the Eye Clinic.

Far less important, but equally impressive, is the equipment that we have available to use at the VA Eye Clinic.

We have four fully equipped lanes with outstanding slit lamps, indirect ophthalmoscopes, and workstations for our physicians and optometrist.

We have a laser room with a YAG laser, an argon laser, and an infrared laser. We have a new Humphrey visual field analyzer as well as a Goldmann kinetic perimetry unit. We have a full equipped Minor Room Suite with a binocular microscope and we have a fundus camera which we can use for external photos, as well as photos of the disc and retina.

In short, our clinic is staffed and equipped to provide the highest quality care for our veterans.

Operating Room

Personnel in Operating Room

The most outstanding feature of the operating room, as in the clinic, are the people that work with the surgeons in the eye operating room. These nurses and technicians have provided consistent excellent service to our eye surgeons, provide the most up-to-date equipment, and have excelled in decreasing the turn around time to the bare minimum, allowing us to increase our surgical volume.

In the operating room, we have many pieces of equipment which give us the ability to operate in the latest fashion. We have a ceiling mounted Zeiss microscope with dual coaxial lights with video capability which allows us to tape the surgeries of residents and run through those later, increasing our teaching capabilities. We have recently purchased a state of the art phacoemulsification unit, allowing us to perform cataract surgery in a safe and efficient manner. We have stocked foldable lenses which allow us to use small incisions

Additionally, we have some of the latest intraocular devices for cataract, glaucoma, and corneal surgery. We have the Colorado needle and other devices that allow us to perform state of the art oculoplastics surgery as well. We perform scleral buckles, but do not perform vitrectomies at the present time in this operating room. In short, the staff of the operating room, together with the latest equipment make the operating room at the VA Hospital one of the finest in the nation.

Educational Support

The Veterans Administration has always had education as one of its top priorities. Three of the residents from the University of Iowa are paid by the Veterans Administration and 3 residents are always on station at the VA Hospital. The 3rd year resident acts as the chief resident and is in charge of the day to day management of the clinic. A 2nd year resident, who is beginning the surgical part of his/her training, is a key player both in the clinic and in the OR. And finally, a 1st year resident who is in the beginning of his/her career, focusing on the medical management of ophthalmology is an integral part of the clinic and uses the faculty, 3rd year and 2nd year

Resident practicing in phacoemulsification wet lab

A fully equipped wet lab at the VA allows residents to practice their surgery on cadaver and animal eyes.

Dr. Oetting gowned-up and ready to go

Currently, the chief of the service works approximately half-time at the VA and half-time at the University. The chief of service attends most of the resident surgeries and helps with some of the administrative duties of the clinic.

We also have the services of a highly experienced optometrist. Additionally, the VA is staffed with subspecialty help from the Retina Service, the Oculoplastics Service, the Glaucoma Service and the Cornea Service from the University of Iowa Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences.

Iowa City VA Health Care System

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