Bloomington, MN | Patient Stories Through Dr Chu's Eyes | Chu Vision Institute

Dr. Y. Ralph Chu of Chu Vision Institute shares stories of amazing patient outcomes he has helped his patients achieve. The founder and medical director of Chu Vision Institute and Chu Surgery Center, Dr. Chu is a recognized international leader in refractive and cataract surgery and a fellowship-trained corneal specialist focused on changing lives. (Yours included.


Dr. Ralph Chu: One of the most amazing stories about not judging a book by its cover was, in the same clinic day, we had two patients come in. One was the CEO of a major company and one was a school lunch lady. If you stereotype these patients and said, "You know what, I'm only going to talk about the most expensive high-end technologies with the CEO," and assume that the school lunch lady wasn't going to be able to choose or afford some of the latest and greatest technologies, then I think we would have missed a huge opportunity. When the school lunch lady came in, having trouble seeing, we started talking to her about all the latest technologies available, and there was some out-of-pocket costs with some of the latest technologies, like the Crizal Lens, that help patients get out of reading glasses, as well as distance glasses.

Dr. Ralph Chu: This is not just about vanity, trying to get free of glasses. This is about functional vision. What she said to us was she wanted to be able to see the kids who she was serving, but also be able to see what the food she was serving without having to wear glasses because every time she'd lift the dish, her glasses would steam up, and she did say that this is the only thing that I would, I have ever been able to buy myself. It still gives me chills when I hear that, because when she chose that, she actually had an excellent result and it's that smile on her face, that visceral feeling that I'm truly better than I was before when I came here, that really connects with me. I'll never forget that look on her face after surgery.

Dr. Ralph Chu: Now, I like it when patients get it and they say, "This is really not about money, but this is about improving myself." One of the most amazing things about eye surgery, whether it's cataract surgery or LASIK is, the visual results can be nearly immediate. Patients can come in and come in needing to wear glasses or coming, not being able to see faces of their loved ones, and after a procedure, within a few minutes, things are already improving to where they can recognize faces and see the things that they were afraid they'd never be able to see again. That instant gratification is something that is very, very exciting in ophthalmology. I think that's one of the most, the coolest things that we can do for people. We had a Russian-speaking patient, who spoke no English, and she came with her family who helped interpret.

Dr. Ralph Chu: She had let her vision go to the point where she could only see light and hand motion. She had actually really never seen my face or probably the faces of my staff. Immediately after surgery, when we sat up, she put a smile on her face. She started putting her hands together and speaking Russian. When the door opened into the postoperative area, she started tearing up because she could see the people that she was going in to see. Before it was just blur and light. Okay. It's moments like that, that empower me. Right. Keep, recharge me and keep doing what we do.