with Dr. Barry Leader of EyeCare Associates
by Greta Honsberger
Medical Condition: Chronic Open-Angle Glaucoma.
Treatment: The implantation of an XEN Gel Stent, a minimally invasive surgical procedure.
MS. MARY KATHRYN SMITH cannot say enough great things about ophthalmologist Dr. Barry Leader. In 2020, her optometrist discovered that Ms. Smith had abnormally high pressure in her left eye, a severe issue and a symptom of glaucoma. While a regiment of prescription eye drops is the standard treatment for increased pressure in the eye, Ms. Smith was unable to use them due to an allergy that was soon discovered. The eye drops caused her extreme pain, forcing her to discontinue them. Then, she was referred to Dr. Barry Leader, a comprehensive ophthalmologist and fellowship-trained glaucoma surgeon at EyeCare Associates.
Concerning treating Ms. Smith’s chronic open-angle glaucoma, Dr. Leader explains that it can be achieved in three ways. The first recourse is with glaucoma control medication in the form of eye drops. If that is unsuccessful, a trabeculoplasty laser treatment is the next course of action. Most people respond well to this treatment; however, it doesn’t work for everyone. For those people who do not respond to laser treatment, surgery is warranted. Unfortunately, that was the case for Ms. Smith.
Under the care of Dr. Leader, Ms. Smith received a minimally invasive surgery where a tiny incision was made to implant a microscopic Xen stent. An incision in her eye and a stent placed in it made the healing process challenging for Ms. Smith, but she continued the treatment as prescribed. With any treatment related to glaucoma, prescription eye drops are a big part of the healing process. Lucky for Ms. Smith, considering her prior issues with prescription eye drops, Dr. Leader found drops she could tolerate to heal appropriately. Within three weeks, she could decrease the amount of eye drops, and within three months, her vision had fully recovered, with pressure levels in a normal range.
Ms. Smith could not be more pleased with her treatment outcome and overall experience, particularly with Dr. Leader. She says about Dr. Leader, “He is the best doctor because he is compassionate, takes time to listen, and genuinely cares about his patients.” Ms. Smith expresses her gratitude to Dr. Leader for his unwavering commitment to resolving her eye pressure issue and returning the vision to her left eye.
Barry J. Leader, MD, is a comprehensive ophthalmologist and fellowship-trained glaucoma surgeon who joined EyeCare Associates in September last year. A native Virginian and UVA graduate, Dr. Leader completed his medical studies at Tulane University, and New Orleans became home. He fulfilled his residency at Ochsner Clinic and completed an intensive fellowship at Louisiana State University on advanced glaucoma management and complex cataract surgery. Dr. Leader’s extensive contributions to glaucoma and optic nerve diseases include authorship of multiple journal articles, co-editing a book, and delivering presentations at various medical conferences worldwide. Dr. Leader expresses the importance of everyone having a yearly eye exam.