Seeing the Possibilities, Thanks to LASIK


Music conductor finds creative freedom after eye surgery.

University of Miami student Craig McKenzie conducts musical ensembles through swaying arms and precise hand gestures. Until recently, his eyeglasses got in the way of his creative expression.

“My glasses hid what I was trying to convey, through facial expressions, to the ensemble. Plus, they kept sliding down my face as I perspired. Trying to conduct while pushing my glasses up at the same time broke the magic,” McKenzie says.

While McKenzie studies music at UM’s Frost School of Music, it took eye surgeons at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, part of the University of Miami Health System, to help him experience the true magic of conducting. McKenzie was the first patient to receive LASIK surgery from a Bascom Palmer eye surgeon at The Lennar Foundation Medical Center. The outpatient facility is located on UM’s Coral Gables campus.

In searching for a LASIK provider, McKenzie wanted high quality care and excellent results. After learning that Bascom Palmer offers the surgery, he also discovered it is Number One in the nation for eye care.

“I knew I was in the right place as soon as I walked in the door,” McKenzie says.

McKenzie’s research paid off. Bascom Palmer surgeons have 35 years of experience with refractive surgery. They have trained on every piece of equipment available, including the Allegretto 500 Laser at the Lennar Center’s Laser Vision Center. The laser’s guidance system follows the unique topography of each patient’s eye. It corrects abnormalities in the cornea, giving patients crisper, clearer vision than what they had with glasses or contact lenses.

Dr. Sonia H. Yoo performed McKenzie’s surgery. She is a Bascom Palmer eye surgeon and a professor of ophthalmology at the UM’s Miller School of Medicine. “We’ve done LASIK for a long time at our Miami campus, but Craig McKenzie was our first LASIK patient at The Lennar Foundation Medical Center,” Yoo says.

Although LASIK surgery offers great results with very low risk, it’s not for everyone. According to Dr. Yoo, people with dry eye, a thin cornea or an irregular astigmatism are not candidates for this surgery.

However, some patients, including McKenzie, “. . . notice a dramatic difference immediately after the procedure, and almost all recover from discomfort quickly enough to drive themselves to a follow-up check the next morning,” says Yoo.

Today, liberated from the burden of glasses, McKenzie says, “I’m free to conduct without something between me and the people I’m conducting. The people at Bascom Palmer really changed my life.”

The Lennar Center’s Laser Vision Center in Coral Gables will offer the same full diagnostic services and outpatient surgery provided at all Bascom Palmer eye care centers. Ophthalmic services include cornea, retina, oculoplastic, optometry and comprehensive eye care, pediatric, specialty contact lenses, imaging, LASIK and laser vision correction.

To schedule a LASIK consultation at the Lennar Center, click here or call 305-326-6575.