World renowned ophthalmologist, Dr. Johnny L Gayton, was chosen to launch modern cataract surgery in Mongolia and demonstrate ReSTOR implantation in the Philippines. His Asian journey started with a layover flight to Beijing and meeting his host Anthony Sampietro, who became a good friend to Dr. Gayton. After staying the night in Beijing, they took a flight to Ulannbaatar, Mongolia. They took a short tour around the city and visited a mountain temple. The temple area was largely in ruins and the roads were some of the worst in the world. On the bumpy ride back they stopped at a Nomadic family’s circular home. The living conditions were poor. The only bathing facilities consist of a wet cloth and a pan of water heated over a coal burner. They conversed with the family and had yak yogurt before heading back to Ulannbaatar.
Over the next two days, Dr. Gayton was taken to three different hospitals to teach modern cataract surgery to the local ophthalmologists. Dr. Gayton was selected to introduce modern cataract surgery in Mongolia because of his long term experience in dealing with unusal cataract surgeries. The hospitals were not air conditioned and they worked until 10pm each night. Dr. Gayton met with the chief ophthalmologist in all of Mongolia at the second hospital, who had two important patients that she wanted him to personally operate on. Several of the cases were complex with PXE, radiation induced, polar, or dense white cataracts. “I feel good that we have helped a lot of people and took the first steps in bringing modern cataract surgery to Mongolia” Dr. Gayton stated about the experience.
On July 8, Dr. Gayton took several lay over flights until he reached Manila. Manila is the most densely populated city in the world, consisting of 20,000,000 people. The faculty dinner that night, was attended by David Avila and Dil Jacob from Alcon, ophthalmologists Yury Takhtaev from St. Petersberg, Russia and Ses Espirito from Manila, and Dr. Gayton. Dr. Gayton said, “It was a time of wonderful food and fellowship.”Dr. Gayton and the other surgeons implanted the ReSTOR lens on several cataract patients in a live surgery demonstration at the American Eye Center. The following day, they examined all of the surgical patients in front of all the attendees, which consisted of about 250 people. The patients were very happy, and Dr. Gayton’s ReSTOR patient was 20/20 near and distance without glasses. Dr. Gayton’s lectures and wrestling videos were both well received in Manila. The attendees gave the surgeons and patients a loud round of cheers and applause.
During the last days of Dr. Gayton’s trip, he flew into Borcay for the first Philippine Cataract Advisory Board meeting. The meeting and the following dinner went very well. On his way back to Manila a typhoon was coming in, and it made for a difficult flight. The typhoon ended up knocking out power, internet, phones, and unfortunately 30 people lost their lives in the storm.
After doing surgery on his first day back he headed to Chicago to lecture. “The trip was incredible, I made lifelong friends, and I was able to help people. It does not get much better than that” Dr. Gayton has said about his international trip. Dr. Gayton works at Eyesight Associates where he has extensive experience and a long history of excellence in cataract and refractive surgery.