Blanca was in danger of losing her eyesight completely — until her family found the specialists at Cottage.
||Staffed by doctors, nurses, and technicians dedicated to eye surgery and equipped with the highest level of technology, the center takes on the most complicated cases from around the state.
The Eye Center has been a leader in new technology and procedures in the management of complex eye diseases. It was the second hospital in North America to offer less invasive small gauge retina surgery. And it has a proven record of treating cases that others had claimed were beyond hope.
Blanca H. (at left), from Buellton, is a prime example. At four years old, she lost sight in one eye from an infection that led to a retinal detachment. The disease threatened to rob her vision completely, and her parents were devastated when doctors told them there was nothing more that could be done.
Fortunately, Blanca and her parents found their way to the specialists at the Cottage Eye Center. “We saved her eye,” says Dr. Dante Pieramici, retina specialist, and a partner of California Retina Consultants.
Retina surgery, and specifically those involving retinal detachment, are the majority of the procedures performed at the Cottage Eye Center. The retina is the nervous tissue that lines the back surface of the eye and sends visual images to the brain.
Today, Blanca is a 12-year-old who’s able to attend school right alongside other children who have never had any vision problems.
“Without that interventional surgery, she would have been completely blind,” says Dr. Pieramici. “And her life would have been totally different.”
In Santa Barbara, Fred Nieves is back to his regular routines, now that he has recovered from his surgery and his vision has been restored. He’s returned to his post as a crossing guard in his neighborhood, and he has taken up gardening again.
“It’s marvelous to have my eyesight back,” he says. “I’m so thankful to everyone at the Eye Center for the excellent care I received.”
MARIA ZATE / PHOTOS BY GLENN DUBOCK