Wellington The Magazine February 2017

Page 121

wellington wellington | health | spa

Retina Group Ophthalmologist Dr. Kevin T. Kelly Protects Patients’ Vision Story by Deborah Welky • Photo by Abner Pedraza

It wasn’t so long ago when a diagnosis of macular degeneration — a common eye problem in seniors — meant almost certain blindness. “The prognosis was pretty grim unless it was caught really early,” recalled Dr. Kevin T. Kelly, an ophthalmologist partner with the Retina Group of Florida. “We had laser, but most patients don’t even notice that their vision is being affected until it’s near the center of vision.” But by then, it used to be too late. “Once the blood vessel burst, and it bled or scarred, it was over,” Kelly said. Fast forward to 2017, and this fairly common condition can be treated with medication — and the expertise of ophthalmologists trained in retinal care. “You think your vision is lost but, after we dry up the blood vessel, the macula is preserved and the patient is able to see,” Kelly said. Kelly practices at the Wellington office of the Retina Group of Florida, which is located on the campus of Wellington Regional Medical Center. A New Jersey native, Kelly completed his undergraduate studies at Rutgers University, earning degrees in chemical engineering and biology. He continued on to medical school at Rutgers, and completed his medical internship at Staten Island Hospital. He completed a residency in ophthalmology at SUNY-Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. That was followed by a two-year fellowship in retina care at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. “Many fellowships are only six months, but all the ophthalmologists in our practice have completed their residency and done two-year fellowships in retinal surgery,” Kelly explained. Those ophthalmologists include Dr. Darin Goldman and Dr. Eduardo Uchiyama, who work with Kelly at the Wellington office. Kelly sees patients in Wellington four days a week, and can be found at the Stuart location of the Retina Group of Florida on Thursdays. Other offices are located in Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, West Palm Beach, Hollywood, Plantation and the main office in Fort Lauderdale. Surgeries are done on the retina equipment at Broward Health Imperial Point. The practice continues to grow. This is due largely to an aging population, as well as a growing prevalence of diabetes, which is known to cause vision problems. “I opened my office in 2007, and began working with Retina Group in 2009. We see patients with diabetic retinopathy, retinal detachments, macular degeneration and uveitis, an inflammation of the eye sometimes associated with auto-

immune diseases,” Kelly said. “We focus exclusively on the retina and even cater to other ophthalmologists when they encounter a tough problem.” In the case of eye emergencies, the Retina Group is available around the clock. “What makes us unique is we’re available 24/7,” Kelly noted. “Someone is taking the call.” The Retina Group gets referrals from across Florida and the nation, especially for those patients who live in Florida only part of the year. “I have one patient who I’ve been working with for 10 years, keeping his macular degeneration in check,” Kelly said. “Since 2007, there are new medications to treat it. Today, rather than being blind, his vision is 20/25. The point is, you still have a chance.” The Wellington office of the Retina Group of Florida is located at 1397 Medical Park Blvd., Suite 240, on the campus of Wellington Regional Medical Center. To make an appointment, call (561) 7843788 or visit www.retinagroupflorida.com. wellington the magazine | february 2017 121


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