9 June 2012, Muscat: Muscat Eye Laser Center toasted a decade of exemplary services as the nation’s foremost private eye care clinic with a pledge to evolve into a centre of eye-care excellence in the Gulf region.
At a ceremony to mark the anniversary, the CEO and co-founder Mr. Sameer Al Awam unveiled plans for the clinic’s eventual relocation to a spacious, state-of-the-art, multi-storey facility at Bausher designed and equipped to cater to Muscat Eye Laser’s burgeoning caseload and an expanding portfolio of eye-care services.
It has been a momentous ten years for Dr Maria Clara Arbelaez, a globally renowned corneal surgeon and Medical Director, who along with Mr. Sameer Al Awam, oversaw the growth of Muscat Eye Laser Center into Oman’s largest and best established eye-care services provider in the private sector.
Through her commitment to providing an exceptionally high level of patient care, Dr Arbelaez saw her practice grow from a team of seven members in 2002 to around 50 staff today, comprising of a full complement of corneal and refractive surgeons, anterior segment specialists, ophthalmologists, anaesthesia consultants, technicians and paramedics. To extend the best services to its patients, the Center has also entered into an exclusive partnership with internationally renowned eye specialists. It presently covers an unrivalled offering in specialist surgical, LASIK and other corrective procedures many of them pioneered by Muscat Eye Laser Center in Oman.
Keeping abreast of clinical and technological advancements in the field of corrective eye care globally, Muscat Eye Laser Center introduced cutting-edge procedures in Oman as soon as they became the norm in well-established international markets. Consequently, patients in the Sultanate have always enjoyed access to the best in corrective eye-care services that have consistently placed Muscat Eye Laser Center at the very top of the industry.
Along with superior patient care and quality standards, innovation has been the all-encompassing credo of the clinic’s quest for success over the past decade. In line with this philosophy, Muscat Eye Laser Center introduced a succession of new corrective procedures that helped speed up healing and visual recovery and minimise discomfort for patients.
Thus, starting with cataract surgery, corneal transplants and implantable contact lens surgery in 2004, the clinic embraced leading-edge corrective procedures as and when they came on the market. A year later, intrastomal corneal ring surgery was added to the clinic’s offerings for the treatment of keratoconus.
he year 2006 saw the introduction of a flurry of new procedures – all groundbreaking at the time – including the corneal collagen cross-linking treatment for keratoconus, Pachymetry assisted lamellar keratoplasty (PALK) for corneal transplants, SLT and Laser Iridotomy for treatment of glaucoma and Focal Photocoagulation for some retinal conditions.
With the addition of a number of laser-assisted surgical procedures, Muscat Eye Laser Center’s dominant position as a provider of corrective eye-care services was sealed. Femtosecond laser assisted LASIK surgery was introduced in 2008, along with Femtolaser assisted intrastromal corneal ring surgery. Complementing these procedures was the revolutionary LASIK / LASEK combined with accelerated crosslinking procedure along with Partial Thickness Corneal Transplant Endothelial Keratoplasty.
In conjunction with the introduction of these modern procedures were regular equipment upgrades aimed at ensuring the clinic’s position on the leading-edge of corrective eye-care services in Oman. Its high-tech capabilities are reflected in the acquisition of a Pentacam Scheimpflug Imaging System for anterior segment imaging, the Amaris 750 Excimer Laser – the pride and joy of the clinic, the Heidelberg Retinal Tomographer for the imaging of both the anterior and posterior segment of the eye, and the Sirius imaging system. Adding to this sophisticated array is the newly procured Avedro system for combined LASIK / LASEK with accelerated crosslinking.
But the most notable milestone of the past decade pertains to our over 130,000 visitors who have received quality eye care solutions for their ophthalmic concerns. Acknowledged as an international authority on refractive eye surgery, Dr Arbelaez has been frequently invited to present at leading international conferences and symposiums attended by prominent figures from around the world. She also continues to conduct research and studies that have contributed to a better understanding of the science of laser vision correction.
While the Center has progressed on to provide the best services in the GCC in Muscat, it has also been aware of its social responsibility. On recommendation of the Chamber of Commerce, it has regularly sponsored deserving students for higher studies. This year alone, five students have been sponsored. In addition, it has also funded employees for courses to further improve their skills.
On a bigger scale, the Center put Oman on the map by inviting Schwind to host its annual user meet in the Sultanate in 2010 that was attended by 150 delegates from 45 countries. At the conference, the Schwind CEO acknowledged Dr. Maria’s input in developing advanced technology in refractive surgery and commended her global reputation as one of the finest eye laser surgeons in the world.
“On this important anniversary, we have a lot of people to thank, including our staff and suppliers, who believed in our practice and helped us grow and prosper. But our success would not have been possible without the support of our wonderful patients. They are the reason why we continue to work hard to improve our quality and service delivery with the aim of providing them with an exceptional eye-care experience,” Mr. Sameer Al Awam commented.
Jointly established by Sameer Al Awam and Dr. Maria Clara Arbelaez in April 2002, Muscat Eye Laser Center is Oman’s foremost eye care center specialising in refractive surgery using advanced technology and procedures. Centrally located in Shatti Al Qurum, the center has two fully equipped operating theatres, six consultation and meeting rooms, six diagnostic and four preparation rooms. As an ISO 9001:2008 certified facility, Muscat Eye Laser Center is committed to delivering exceptional clinical results with an unmatched degree of quality and safety.
The specialist team is led by Dr. Maria Clara Arbelaez, a reputed corneal transplant and refractive surgeon from Colombia with over 20 years of experience in Latin America, the Caribbean and the Middle East. She has more than 50,000 successful eye surgeries to her credit – a feat that remains largely surpassed in ophthalmic circles in the region. For more information, visit the website www.muscateye.com or the blog http://muscateye.blogspot.com/