Multiple times a year, Dr. Lanny Hale is whisked across the country to fulfill an aspect of his job other than performing Lasik surgeries in Brookfield, Wisconsin. Dr. Hale trains new doctors or medical colleges in using the VISX laser, the same technology he uses at the Hale Vision office.
The VISX laser is the most popular laser in the United States, said Dr. Hale. It is like his “old reliable,” as it has never malfunctioned during a treatment and has always yielded exceptional results. The laser is owned by Abbott Medical Optics Inc. and requires a one-time training course before usage, as mandated by the FDA.
Dr. Hale has been certified to conduct such training courses across the country to medical colleges and private practices since 1998, about two years after he was first introduced to the VISX laser. In fact, Dr. Hale brought the first VISX laser to Milwaukee in 1997. He has taught hundreds of doctors in the use of the equipment.
“It’s kind of become my specialty,” said Dr. Hale. “I train users that are experienced in other equipment platforms and need to learn to make the conversion to the Visx platform. I’ve helped some very prominent surgeons make this transition.”
Dr. Hale’s latest trip brought him to oil country in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, where he trained a new doctor at the region’s dominant eye practice, Vance Thompson Vision.
Dr. Hale has made an adventure out of past training courses in visiting the gators of Florida or staying in a supposedly haunted hotel in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. But besides a couple delayed flights, nothing about Dr. Hale’s recent trip to Sioux Falls was beyond the ordinary.
Laser correction vision has gone through tremendous changes since the 1990s, when the revolutionary procedure became mainstream. At that time, many doctors became trained to use the equipment.
“Lasik has gone through the early phase when every doctor did it. Those people have dropped off and now laser correction surgery has been left in the hands of the people that specialize,” said Dr. Hale.
Dr. Hale has been presented with the “VISX Star” award all three years that it has been awarded. This honor is given to the top laser surgeons in the United States and acknowledges their significant contributions to the enhancement, growth and improvement of the field of refractive surgery.
Dr. Hale chose to fully dedicate his career and practices to vision correction surgery in 1998 since first founding his practice in Milwaukee, Wisconsin as a general ophthalmologist in 1979. He has since founded the Advanced Vision Correction Foundation and developed a software program to help patients visually assess their status as a candidate for Lasik. This proprietary system is used exclusively at Hale Vision Laser and Implant Center in Brookfield, Wisconsin.