On a mission in Mexico to restore vision in needy

Posted: December 2011

During a recent medical mission to Mexico, UTMB glaucoma fellow Dr. Silvia Lara-Moses brought leading-edge treatments from UTMB to help impoverished eye patients in her homeland.

Lara-Moses, an ophthalmologist specializing in glaucoma research and treatment, has volunteered for 12 years to join Mexican ophthalmologists for the annual medical mission in Tlapa de Comonfort, Guerrero, Mexico.

Glaucoma specialists Dr. Juan Ignacio Babayan Mena and Dr. Silvia Lara-Moses examine a young patient during a medical mission in Tlapa de Comonfort, Guerrero, Mexico.

During the six-day mission in November, she and 10 other doctors, several technicians and a dozen nurses, treated almost 500 patients. They performed approximately 200 cataract surgeries, as well as other eye surgeries.

The annual mission is sponsored by Medicina Assistencia Social (MAS), a non-profit organization based in Mexico.

Lara-Moses said, "Many of these patients walked for days to see an eye doctor. We restored vision in many patients who have no access to such medical care."

"One young man saw his children for the first time after his cataract surgery. It was very moving."

As a glaucoma postdoctoral research fellow at UTMB Health Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences in Galveston, Texas, Lara-Moses also brought her knowledge of glaucoma imaging technology, early diagnosis and disease progression and treatment to help patients with glaucoma.

Lara-Moses earned her medical degree from the Faculty of Medicine, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico. She completed her post doctorate work at the Hospital General de Mexico in Mexico City and then held a glaucoma fellowship at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute in Miami, Fla. She has been chief of the glaucoma department at Hospital General de Mexico since 1999 and is a professor of medicine at the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico.

She has extensive experience in clinical research, including the link between glaucoma and genetics, controlling eye pressure in glaucoma patients with diabetes and the effectiveness of certain glaucoma drugs.