Surgeon profile: Meet Dr Ilango, Medical Director for cataract and lens surgery
03 October 2019
Dr. Ilango · MBBS DO FRCS FRCOphth CertLRS · Medical Director
Dr Ilango is our Medical Director for Lens Surgery at Optimax, having worked with us for 25 years. He is also a consultant ophthalmic surgeon at the Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust, specialising in cornea and lens implants. With professional memberships for five different societies and colleges, it’s safe to say that Dr Ilango is an expert in all things vision.
Dr Ilango graduated from medical school in Southern India, and completed his Diploma in Ophthalmology there, before moving to the UK to pursue his career as a surgeon. He then completed the Higher Specialist Training Programme in the West Midlands, including placements at St Paul’s Eye Unit in Liverpool and the Leicester Royal Infirmary. It was at world-renowned Moorfields Eye Hospital, however, that he developed a special interest in corneal surgery and undertook his postgraduate fellowship.
We sat down for a chat with Dr Ilango last month to learn a bit more about him. How many procedures has he performed?
“I’ve done about 45,000 lens implant operations and around 6,000 laser correction surgeries. I started as a laser surgeon for Optimax in Manchester clinic and then switched to lens surgery.”
This switch to a specialisation in lens surgery led Dr Ilango setting up an eye hospital in rural India, a country in which 74% of adults aged over 60 either have a cataract, or have had cataract surgery. Dr Ilango says that this, in part, is because “people can’t always afford to buy sunglasses. India is a hot country so people get cataracts earlier [due to high exposure to UV rays]”. Dr Ilango’s expertise and generosity – he performs the lens treatments in India on a voluntary basis – has helped save many people’s sight.
When not treating patients at Optimax or back in his home country, Dr Ilango produces research and work for publication, as well as putting together training programmes for junior doctors in ophthalmology. It certainly sounds like a busy schedule! For somebody with so much going on, we were keen to know what Dr Ilango’s favourite part of his job is…
“You have the consultation, and you do the treatment, but my favourite part of the job is the appointment after surgery. When you see the patient after treatment, you really see the benefit. They’re smiling, they’re so happy with their new vision, and that’s what makes your job worthwhile.”
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