Written by: Simonette Berry
“Restoring someone’s vision is one of the most gratifying things you can imagine. Patients have an immediate improvement in the quality of their lives. If you tell someone you’ve controlled their blood pressure, they can’t tell the difference, but when they can immediately see again, the patient is very excited and appreciative,” says Dr. Scott Nelson, MD of the Eye Care Surgery Center in Baton Rouge.
Dr. Nelson, who has been in private practice for 21 years, is a Baton Rouge native and a groundbreaker in his field. He is well known in south Louisiana for his integrity and professional demeanor. In 1995, he was the first ophthalmologist in Baton Rouge to perform LASIK surgery, a procedure that corrects vision impairments, freeing countless patients of their need for glasses. After he graduated from the LSU Medical School and completed his residency at the University of Alabama in Birmingham, Dr. Nelson and his wife Penny, another LSU alum, moved back to the city to raise their four children. Dr. Nelson’s sons are following in his footsteps, with Steven at LSU Dental School, and Daniel and Matthew who are undergrads at LSU. Their daughter Sarah is still in high school at St. Joseph’s Academy. Dr. Nelson, likewise, had followed in his father’s footsteps; he was a professor at LSU and has created a family legacy of scholarship.
Dr. Nelson’s decision to become an ophthalmologist grew from his desire to help the visually impaired. In 2006, Dr. Nelson, along with Dr. Henry Haley, Jr. and Dr. Jeffrey Singer, purchased and revamped the practice at the Eye Care Surgery Center. These doctors have created a state-of-the-art practice committed to bringing affordable care and the best technology on the market to their patients. Since its inception, the doctors at the Eye Care Surgery Center have performed more LASIK surgery than any other practice in the Baton Rouge region. They are also the fastest growing clinic in the area, having gained three new doctors in just the past year. Thousands of satisfied patients each year see proof of the amazing results made possible by Dr. Nelson and his associates.
“In our Ambulatory Surgery Center, we take the personal approach with our patients. We offer both quality medical care and emotional reassurance. Our goal is to make patients comfortable and offer the best care possible.” The services offered at Eye Care Surgery Center include retina and vitreous surgery, corneal surgery, glaucoma surgery, cataract surgery, LASIK, cosmetic surgery, general exams, and glasses and contact fittings. At this time, Eye Care Surgery Center has four locations: Baton Rouge, Hammond, Gonzales, and Covington. “We’re looking to continue to expand our practice and grow into other surrounding regions,” Dr. Nelson says.
“I specialize in cataract and refractive surgery,” explains Dr. Nelson. “Cataract surgery allows us to restore sight to patients that have clouded vision. We have the latest technology on the market available here. With traditional cataract surgery, we used an implant that reduces farsightedness and nearsightedness, but couldn’t correct astigmatism or allow a patient to see both far and near in the same eye. They would still need reading glasses, in other words.”
“Now, that has all changed with the new premium intraocular lens implants. I am able to offer a new type of lifestyle improvement implant that not only corrects the cataracts but also helps people function without any glasses at all. We can basically take people who had strong glasses and correct their vision so they can see without them.”
Not everyone in Baton Rouge offers the kind of advanced vision repair technology that the Eye Care Surgery Center makes available for its patients. The team at Eye Care Surgery Center also uses the most state-of-the-art LASIK equipment: the VISX Star 4 Laser and the Intralase.
“I went into ophthalmology because I like operating under a microscope and being able to diagnose most things through direct observation, as opposed to relying on a lot of ancillary testing,” says Dr. Nelson. “I believe in the hands on approach to my patients’ care and in fostering relationships with my patients. I want them to feel confident and continue to return to me for their eye care needs year after year.”