Help for Grave's Disease patients

January 28, 2008 6:59:28 AM PST
Thyroid problems are common, especially in American women. One form, called Grave's Disease, can even affect the eyes. A Philadelphia area eye specialist corrects the problem... with a unique approach.

Kencle McKoy has what some would say is a dream job, working in publishing in New York City.

As she says, "It's a very vain industry. I work around a lot of fashion models, a lot of creative directors."

When Grave's disease started robbing her of her good looks, she was devastated.

"I don't want to live with the disease outwardly. I'd rather know that it's something that I have internal, and it's very hard for me," she offered.

Grave's disease occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks the thyroid gland, which is in the neck.

The assault triggers an overproduction of a hormone - Thyroxine, which can make the eyes "bug out."

Former First Lady Barbara Bush, and Olympic gold medal sprinter Gail Devers are probably the most famous women to have Grave's Disease.

Dr. Allan Wulc, an ophthalmologist and plastic surgeon in Warrington, Pa., says. "The best thing to do it wait this out. The disease generally stabilizes itself after 6 months to 2 years, and once it does, then its possible to do some of the same procedures that you would do ordinarily in patients that don't have a thyroid problem."

Kencle's case never stabilized - making her a good candidate for a corrective eye surgery that Dr. Allan Wulc in Warminster has perfected.

He works through the sinus and into the affected area.

Dr. Wulc says, "Mainly we're going to do thinning of the bones, so instead of where the bone is thick, we're going to drill it out with a high speed drill and where it's very thin, like egg shell, we're gonna move it."

Then Dr. Wulc repositions the eye in the cleared out area, and removes any fat pockets that have formed.

Kencle had separate operations for each eye.

The difference between here "before" and "after" pictures is dramatic.

Dr. Wulc says the greatest risk of this surgery is double vision, but Kencle is seeing clearly.

For more information, call Wulc Cosmetic and Plastic Surgery Associates, at 215-918-5552.