ECFA - Animal Ophthalmology

524 Moss Street, New Orleans, Louisiana 70119 | (504)483-8704 | Toll Free:(888)374-3937 | Fax:(504)483-8706



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Frequently Asked Questions

Why was I referred to an ophthalmologist?
What is a veterinary ophthalmologist?
Where did Dr. da Costa do his training?
How long does an appointment take?
Why is microsurgery expensive?
What would happen if electrical power were lost during surgery on my pet?
What should I do if there is an emergency?
Will Dr. da Costa communicate with my regular veterinarian?
 

Why was I referred to an ophthalmologist?
An ophthalmologist has advanced training and equipment for complicated diseases of the eye.  For these same reasons, your family doctor would refer you to an ophthalmologist if you had a serious ocular disease.
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What is a veterinary ophthalmologist?
A veterinary ophthalmologist is trained an additional 3 years beyond 4 years in veterinary school.  This specialized training is called a residency, which is supervised by other board-certified ophthalmologists.  In addition to residency training, Dr. da Costa completed ophthalmology programs at Stanford Medical School and University of Florida Veterinary School.
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Where did Dr. da Costa do his training?
Dr. da Costa graduated with a B.S. in Physics with Honors at the University of Arkansas where he published on biomechanics of dog knees.  He graduated from veterinary school at LSU in Baton Rouge where he published on feline heartworm disease and on diseases of taurine deficiency, which can cause retinal disease.  He did emergency practice in Florida for 2 years with a group of specialists before his ophthalmology residency.  Residency training was done in Arizona with the Eye Clinic for Animals, a.k.a. Eye Care for Animals, which is currently the largest veterinary ophthalmology residency program in the nation.  Since residency training, Dr. da Costa has published on cataracts and glaucoma shunt surgery.
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How long does an appointment take?
Appointments can last 15 minutes to more than two hours.  Unexpected delays can occur due to emergencies, emergent phone consultations to other veterinarians, uncooperative patients, and slow-dilating pupils during an exam.  Dr. da Costa makes every effort to remain on schedule.  He is often the only board-certified veterinary ophthalmologist in Louisiana, a state that has kept four ophthalmologists busy in years past.  The Eye Center for Animals sincerely apologizes in advance for any delays.  We know that your time is valuable; please ask for drop-off examinations (rechecks  only) if it would be more convenient.  Dr. da Costa also apologizes if he seems rushed during your appointment; he attempts to remain focused and efficient.  Regularly working 12-hour days has not afforded time to visit with clients as he once enjoyed with a lighter caseload.
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Why is microsurgery expensive?
Microsurgical equipment and training is very expensive as in human surgery.  The fees at the Eye Center for Animals are competitive throughout the nation.
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What would happen if electrical power were lost during surgery on my pet?
The Eye Center for Animals invested in an automatic emergency power generator that instantaneously turns on with loss of electrical power to safeguard our patients during surgery.  In addition, in the event of unlikely equipment failure, we have redundant equipment that includes pulse-oximetry/electrocardiogram monitors, anesthesia machines, operating microscopes, and cataract machines.
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What should I do if there is an emergency?
First call the Eye Center for Animals locally at (504) 483-8704 or toll-free at (888) 374-3937.  If the office is closed, you will be directed to call a different number to leave a message with your name, number and a brief message.  Dr. da Costa will be paged for a return call as soon as possible.  He makes every effort in returning emergency pages within 30 minutes.  He carries a nation-wide pager, and while out of town and on vacation he keeps copies of all medical records on a laptop computer.  If you feel that you cannot wait for his return call, please go to your regular veterinarian or local emergency veterinary clinic.
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Will Dr. da Costa communicate with my regular veterinarian?
Yes.  Usually within 30 minutes of you leaving the Eye Center for Animals, a copy of your petís record is faxed to your regular veterinarian.  If direct communication is needed, he will call your veterinarian to discuss the case.  We make an effort to coordinate total veterinary care with your regular veterinarian for the best possible outcome.  That is why you may be asked to have your veterinarian do further diagnostics or treatment regarding potential systemic disease affecting not only the eyes but also the rest of the body.
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Copyright 2003 Eye Center for Animals