Practice: Chief of Ophthalmology
Hospital: Phelps Memorial Hospital Center
Dr. Jean R. Tostanoski was inspired to become an ophthalmologist while working in a lab at Yale University. “I was fortunate as an undergraduate to have a wonderful mentor who was a vision specialist. I spent two years working in his lab, studying crayfish retina. My fascination with the visual sciences led me to ophthalmology.” As Chief of Ophthalmology at Phelps Memorial Hospital Center, Tostanoski is committed to bringing cutting-edge technology and the highest level of care to the hospital and to her patients. “Every time I am able to restore someone’s vision, it’s an enormously gratifying experience,” she says.
As Chief of Ophthalmology, you brought the first corneal transplant procedure to Phelps. Do you envision Phelps becoming a technology leader in ophthalmology?
I brought the procedure to Phelps because I recognized the importance of providing the highest level of care at Westchester’s community hospitals. At the time, corneal transplants were performed widely at major medical centers. Most recently, I introduced laser-assisted cataract surgery with the aid of sophisticated intraoperative lens calculation to Phelps. We were the first hospital in Westchester and one of the first in the New York metropolitan region to offer this cutting-edge technology.
Speaking of cutting-edge care, can you tell us what may be coming next?
Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) for the treatment of dry eye, corneal inlays for the treatment of presbyopia, and minimally invasive glaucoma surgery, to name a few. As technology expands, our ability to bring new therapies to our patients grows.
What’s the most memorable surgery you’ve ever performed?
There are too many to count, but I recently had a gentleman with schizophrenia who was so visually impaired, he needed an aide for ambulation. By removing his cataracts, he regained the ability to navigate his environment and had a dramatic improvement in his mental health. He became almost a new person.
Can you offer any general advice about eye care?
Any sudden change in or loss of vision should prompt a patient to seek immediate medical evaluation or treatment. The onset of new floaters or flashes of light should also be evaluated quickly, as they can indicate a problem with the retina.