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Optometrists Seek Right to Perform Certain Surgeries




They say this law would expand access to care.

A proposed law in North Carolina would allow the state’s optometrists to perform certain surgeries, the News & Observer reports.

Rep. Justin Burr, who is sponsoring the bill in the state legislature, said the bill would permit North Carolina’s optometrists to carry out four types of surgery. The surgeries include “two laser procedures for glaucoma, one type of laser surgery for cataracts and removal of benign lesions around the eyes,” according to the News & Observer.

But there’s opposition to the measure, particularly from ophthalmologists.

Chapel Hill ophthalmologist Dr. James Bryan III, for example, said optometrists’ training isn’t adequate for what’s being proposed.


“The big issue is with patient safety,” Bryan said. “These lasers have to be aimed and fired by a surgeon.”

But Dr. Jill Bryant of the National Board of Examiners in Optometry said optometry schools teach laser procedures. She and others in optometry say the proposed law would expand access to care.

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Read more at the News & Observer



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