One-on-One with Alan Berg, M.D.

Ophthalmologist Alan Berg was born and raised in Southern California in 1951, graduating from UCLA in 1972 with a major in psychology. He received him M.D. from Wake Forest University and completed his residency at USC Doheny.

Tony Medley: What is this new procedure you in which you are a pioneer?

Dr. Alan Berg: We specialize in cataract surgery. We do implants. They are called presbyotic correcting implants. They allow patients to see both at a distance and near after the surgery. In the past you could correct the patient’s vision for distance, but they would still have to wear reading glasses or bifocals. But now with these new multi-focal implants, the patients can see distance and near without the aid of glasses.

TM: Is that something you developed?

AB: No, we didn’t develop it, but we’ve been pioneers in using it. We were the first in this area to use those implants.

TM: How did that happen?

AB: Because we tend to be pioneers in cataract surgery, so any new advances we usually have first access to them. We get involved right at the start. If we think a product is going to work and we’ve done the research and think it’s a good product, we’ll be ahead of the curve.

TM: How many have you done?

AB: We’ve probably done over a thousand.

TM: When did it first come out?

AB: Five years ago.

TM: Is it any more difficult to put in these lenses than the old ones?

AB: No. The only difference is the technology of the lens. The lens has built in technology called the defractive optic, which basically splits the light for distance and near vision.

TM: Are there any downsides to the surgery?

AB: Very few. Occasionally you might see some halo or glaring at night with oncoming headlights, but it usually dissipates with time.

TM: That sounds like the same criticism some have of Lasik eye surgery.

AB: Well, maybe it is. Lasik is different. It’s a different process entirely.

TM: Do you do Lasik?

AB: Yes.

TM: What do you think of it?

AB: I think it’s great. My patients do great. There is new technology called wavefront guide ablation that has really changed the issue of halos and glare at night. That issue has almost gone away now with that technology.

TM: How did you get interested in ophthalmology?

AB: When I was in medical school I was fascinated with the eye from my second year on.

TM: Are you married?

AB: I am. I have two children, ages 22 and 27.

TM: They’re grown!

AB: (chuckling) Yes, they are. I’ve done it now and I’m lucky.

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