THANK YOU DR. JOHN SAPIENZA OF THE LONG ISLAND VETERINARY Specialists FOR GIVING HERBERT HIS SIGHT BACK. BIOGRAPHY: Dr. John Sapienza received his Bachelor of Science and Veterinary degree from Cornell University. He completed a ...

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Dr. John Sapienza received his Bachelor of Science and Veterinary degree from Cornell University. He completed a one year internship in small animal medicine & surgery at the Animal Medical Center in New York City, and a three year residency in comparative ophthalmology at the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Sapienza is a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists and the consultant veterinary ophthalmologist at the Bronx Zoo and the New York Aquarium. Dr. Sapienza's special interests are cataract surgery with phacofragmentation, intraocular lens implantation, laser therapy, glaucoma implants and reconstructive eyelid procedures. He was the first veterinary ophthalmologist to perform phacofragmentation and intraocular lens implantation in animals on Long Island and has performed over 1000 cataract surgeries on Long Island. Dr. Sapienza was the first veterinary ophthalmologist in this country to perform injectable foldable acrylic intraocular lens implants in dogs. He has conducted extensive studies on the effect of laser energy in eyes with glaucoma, and has published several articles on glaucoma therapy, Golden Retriever uveltis, and ocular reports in exotic species. Dr. Sapienza is the first and only veterinary ophthalmologist to perform laser glaucoma therapy on Long Island dogs, cats & horses. He has lectured extensively throughout the Continental United States, Hawaii, Europe and South America. Dr. Sapienza speaks fluent Spanish and is a frequent lecturer in Spain, as well as North and South America, for interactive advanced courses in Spanish. Dr. Sapienza received national attention for his medical treatment of "Ashley" the cat, owned by Regis and Joy Philbin, resulting in an appearance on the "Live With Regis" show.

Long Island's only veterinary ophthalmologist works with a team of ophthalmologist nurses to serve the needs of your pet. Ms. Donna Lynam-Crowley (the head ophthalmology nurse) or other members of the staff are specifically trained to manage all types of ophthalmic surgeries, emergencies and clinical problems and may assist with daily contacts during the course of treatment. Pet owners and family veterinarians are contacted following all surgical procedures. In general, patients spend one night in the hospital after surgical procedures (except cataract surgery where the pet is usually discharged from the hospital the same afternoon.) Family members are provided with daily updates and post-operative wellness calls. Discharges are scheduled by appointment with the ophthalmology department nursing staff. All major medical questions should be directed to the senior staff member or the ophthalmology nurse, who will also review all medications and discharge instructions.
LOCATION: 163 South Service Road, Plainview, NY 11803
(Exit 46 on the LIE) 516-501-1700

By Lisa Umstead
Herbert, a yellow crowned Amazon, had been a resident of Parrot Haven just about a week, when I realized that his blindness, due to cataracts, was greatly affecting his health. He was having great difficulty adjusting to his new environment and was barely eating. His weight went from 457 grams, down to 380 grams, in a very short time. I was very concerned for his health and made a decision to see if he would be a qualified candidate for cataract surgery. I then remembered that members Steve & Sally Panzenhagen's Amazon, Fairway, had undergone cataract surgery by Dr. John Sapienza, years ago and decided to use that particular surgeon. Now it was a matter of finding him. I contacted Dr. Heidi Hoefer, of West Hills Animal Hospital who examined & performed blood work on Herbert, then referred Herbert to Dr. John Sapienza of the Long Island Veterinary Specialists. After the initial exam, Dr. Sapienza determined that Herbert would benefit from cataract removal and his surgery was scheduled soon after. I checked Herbert into the hospital at 7:00AM. Leslie Papa, one of the PFC members and Parrot Haven volunteers accompanied us at the time of admittance. I took care of the minimal financial arrangements since Dr. Sapienza was very gracious and offered to donate his time and experience to help Herbert, charging only a nominal amount. I was so overwhelmed at his generosity and was so happy that Herbert would be given a second chance to see again. Leslie and I took some preop pics of Herbert and gave him reassurance before handing him over to the technician, who explained the procedure and had me sign consent forms. I knew Herbert was in good hands, but was still worried. All surgical procedures involve risk and I wondered how he would fare the surgery. He had been through enough in his lifetime and now once again, he was in a strange situation....I received a call about noon from Dr. Sapienza who informed me that he was only able to extract one cataract, due to the fact that there was an abrasion on the inoperable eye, but that the surgery had gone well, that Herbert was recovering nicely and that he could be picked up in the early evening. I wondered if the procedure had been successful, but only time would tell.....I was so glad to see him perching in his "recovery room" when I picked him up. His eyes were red and swollen, but that was to be expected. His nurse gave me his medications and reviewed his discharge instructions with me. I placed him in his carrier and gave him lots of reassurance. As soon as he got home, he dove into his water dish then devoured his beloved pineapple chunks. The surgery did not stop his appetite and he is now back up to his normal 460 grams. He let Dennis and I give him his eye drops somewhat willingly, as if he knew we were helping him, though at this time I think he is just seeing shadows. It is now 9 days post op. Herbert can definitely see since he is climbing all over his cage, down to the floor, wandering through the living room and back up to his perch again. He is even letting us scratch his head, since he no longer has to be afraid of the unknown. Now I just have to teach him the up command. He is turning out to be such a good tempered bird. I am so grateful to Dr. Sapienza for giving his expertise to help Herbert and I know Herbert is happy and content.