Restoring Vision, Changing Lives
“Ophthalmology was something that fell in my lap. I saw a cataract surgery and it was the most amazing surgery I’d ever seen.”
Dr. Seema Capoor considered only two career paths growing up: architect, or physician. In the end, she was drawn to ophthalmology, the diagnosis and treatment of eye disorders. Dr. Capoor is now a physician, surgeon and associate professor in cornea and external diseases in the Department of Ophthalmology at UKHC. She specializes in corneas, or as she likes to say “the window of the eye”.
Being able to change a life by restoring or improving a person’s vision is one of the things that Dr. Capoor finds most gratifying in her work. “Vision is one of our most important senses. A lot of our patients will say they might not miss any other sense of the five senses as much as they would miss their vision if they didn’t have it.”
The field of ophthalmology is evolving rapidly. Dr. Capoor has seen advances over her twenty-year career that would have been unimaginable when she started. A simple cataract surgery used to involve admitting a patient for ten days, requiring a long recovery period with sandbags over their eyes. Now, it’s an outpatient procedure that takes about 12 minutes. The patient is able to go home with better vision right away.
Dr. Capoor’s teaching and practice don’t stop at UK HealthCare. Raised in India and educated in England, she always wanted to practice internationally. When a former trainee contacted her about a medical mission trip to Guatemala, Dr. Capoor traveled to serve as a much-needed corneal specialist.
During her time in Guatemala, Dr. Capoor performed numerous procedures, including corneal transplants and cataract surgeries. She also offered expert advice to local doctors and followed-up on previous surgeries. For her, the trip confirmed the need for eyecare all over the world. And when faced with the challenge of working with different equipment and limited resources, she saw it as an opportunity to improve her skills.
“It made me a better clinician and, to some extent, a better surgeon. Knowing that I was able to perform the same procedures I do here—with limited resources there—made me feel good about bringing those skills back to be able to offer them here, to patients and students alike.”