Vision Correction Pioneer is One of the Best Doctors in America®
ANN B. DEBELLIS
Dr. Price Kloess, founder and medical director of the Alabama Vision Center
Being recognized by your peers is an honor no matter what your career, and thanks to recognition and nomination by his peers, Dr. Price Kloess has been named one the Best Doctors in America® in the field of ophthalmology.
Compiled by Boston-based Best Doctors, Inc., the Best Doctors in America® database is the result of an exhaustive survey of more than 40,000 physicians in the United States. Only those doctors recognized to be in the top 3 percent of their specialty earn the honor of making the list. "It is really heartwarming to know that my colleagues think enough of me to nominate me," said Kloess, founder and medical director of the Alabama Vision Center in Birmingham, a Center of Excellence for cataract, vision correction, and corneal surgery. "It is gratifying to know that so many of my peers recognized me as an expert in the field of ophthalmology."
In addition to being an expert in his field, Kloess is also a pioneer in the area of laser vision correction. A board certified cornea specialist, he was one of the first ophthalmologists in Alabama to perform an enhanced LASIK procedure using wavefront-guided technology. "Our CustomVue® laser vision correction procedures at Alabama Vision Center came about because traditional LASIK surgery patients still had issues with clarity and problems seeing at night or in dim lighting," said Kloess.
Kloess and his team were also early users of Iris Registration (CustomVueIR) that dramatically enhances the results of the CustomVue® procedure by making eye measurements more precise. "Measurements are taken sitting up, and when the patient lies down for surgery, cyclotortion occurs which can change the measurements," Kloess said. Iris registration allows the laser to compensate for the turning of the eye which adds an additional level of precision.
Kloess and his partner, Dr. Andrew Velazquez, are experienced refractive surgeons and have performed thousands of laser vision correction procedures. Kloess was the first eye surgeon to perform refractive surgery in the United States Air Force where he served as Cornea Chairman and Consultant to the Air Force Surgeon General for refractive surgery for several years at Wilford Hall USAF Medical Center in San Antonio, TX, before returning home to Birmingham in 1994 to found the Alabama Vision Center.
Alabama Vision Center is once again leading the way for use of new technology by offering the best and newest generation of LASIK laser vision correction — iLASIK. "With iLASIK, we no longer use a metal blade to cut the cornea as most centers do. Instead, we use the IntraLase™ laser to create the corneal flap. It is part of what makes iLASIK vision correction unique," said Kloess. "This blade-free all laser procedure is the safest and most precise method of laser vision correction and can result in improved quality of vision compared to conventional laser vision correction."
Kloess introduced Alabamians to Smart Lenses™ which enable the eye to focus continuously and seamlessly through a range of distances, including near, far, and in between. He was the first doctor in Alabama to implant these advanced lenses in cataract surgery patients. "In most patients, these intraocular lenses eliminate the need for bifocals and reading glasses after cataract surgery," said Kloess.
Besides the recognition that comes with being named one of the Best Doctors in America®, Kloess said being part of that exclusive database has made it possible for Alabama Vision Center to be asked to participate in new investigational studies. "It has probably opened doors for us because people realize that we have the experience and resources to do new procedures," he said.
Currently, Kloess is participating in a research study using an investigational intraocular lens for the correction of near-sightedness in patients who are not candidates for LASIK or other corneal surface procedures. The investigational lens is currently being evaluated in Europe, Canada, and the United States, and the Alabama Vision Center is one of the U.S. clinical centers participating in the study. "We're excited about the results we are seeing, but the lens has not been approved yet," Kloess said, "but we feel that it will be approved."
Being on the cutting edge of new technologies that help restore people's vision is a place where Kloess likes to be, and his goal is to provide his patients with the best care possible using the latest technologies. Using his skills to help others is something he enjoys, which has led him to participate in charitable surgical eye missions to prevent blindness in Mexico.
"We are at a point relative to the development of vision correction services where virtually any patient can be eyeglass and contact lens free," said Kloess. "It's a great time to be alive, and it is a great time in our history where people can avail themselves of the technology that will allow them to live a better life. It is possible for everyone to have visual freedom."