By Hawai’i Health Travel Staff // Images Courtesy Hawai’i Tourism Authority and Hawai’i Vision Clinic
For Dr. William Wong, having a 2020 vision is something beyond the start of this year—its been his medical message for over two decades and beyond as an ophthalmologist.
Locally born and raised, Dr. Wong’s Hawai’i Vision Clinic caters to clients from across North America and Asia—and with loads of island residents who split their time in Asia also. His clinic specializes in treatments that include advanced Cataract surgery with laser assist, multifocal lens implants, Lasik surgery, and minimally invasive Glaucoma surgery procedures, among others.
Hawai‘i Health Travel caught up with this entrepreneur of eye-care to learn more about his practice.
Hawai‘i Health Travel (HHT): How did you became an ophthalmologist?
Dr. William Wong: It was my first decision in Med School: Surgery or Medicine. My interests and skills most closely fit a surgical specialty. My Mechanical Engineering degree made Ophthalmology, Orthopedics, and ENT the most interesting choices. After rotations in each, I elected Ophthalmology mainly due to the technology, precision, and personalities of the Ophthalmologists I met. AIDS was a huge scary problem at the time and the other specialties were very bloody, and prone to injury or dealt with too much vomit, snot, and pus.
HHT: Why did you chose Hawai’i to practice eye-care?
Dr. William Wong: Both my parents and my wife’s parents are here. We wanted our children to grow up knowing them. After living on both coasts, the south and midwest, Hawai‘i tops them all. I grew up here, it’s my home.
HHT: How did you establish Hawai‘i Vision Clinic?
Dr. William Wong: We started 15 years ago in two small storage rooms at my father’s practice. We renovated them into exam lanes and hung a shingle. Five years ago, we added a second state of the art office with LASIK center in the prestigious Nauru Tower in Kaka’ako near Ward Village and Ala Moana shopping center. It’s the only Ophthalmic office with an ocean view and free parking.
HHT: What are your more popular eye-treatments?
Dr. William Wong: We specialize in advanced Cataract surgery with Laser assist, multifocal lens implants, astigmatism correction as well as minimally invasive Glaucoma Surgery procedures. We also have a LASIK center and perform the most advanced LASIK treatments in the state as well as Implantable Contact Lens procedures for those not qualified for LASIK. After restoring sight to our patients, they realize the effects of aging and Hawai’i’s sunshine on their faces so we offer aesthetic treatments like Botox, injectable fillers, and skin tightening, fat reducing procedures.
HHT: How are you currently catering to travelers from Asia who comes to Hawai‘i?
Dr. William Wong: Our office and Surgical center are easily accessible from Waikiki. We currently offer urgent appointments for any travellers with ocular issues. Occasionally we have patients that reside in both Hawai‘i and Asia (Philippines, Japan, Mainland China, Taiwan) that see us annually for their eye care.
HHT: Where do you see Lasik advances in treatments headed in the next few years?
Dr. William Wong: Every few years there are new advances in the LASIK technology. We just implemented the latest iDesign customized Refractive Suite so the next jump will be several years away.
HHT: Some people are talking about robotic eye-transplants coming soon in technology. How far off from that are we?
Dr. William Wong: My colleagues have already implanted the “Bionic Eye” microchip device in several patients, restoring ambulatory vision to blind patients. It’s still in the infancy stage, but makes a significant difference to those patients.
HHT: What is your advice to people who want to come to Hawai’i to have stem cell eye-treatments done?
Dr. William Wong: Due to FDA regulations, we only have stem cell derived topical treatments for ocular disease. The future of these treatments will depend on how the FDA handles up and coming advances in this field.
For more information: www.hawaiivisionclinic.com