Happy Thanksgiving 2016

Happy Thanksgivine 2016Happy Thanksgiving – wherever you might be. I wish the best to you and your family during this Thanksgiving holiday.  Thanksgiving is celebrated 11/24 in the U.S.

Amy and I are looking forward to all the family that can convene at our house on Thursday.  As of August we became “empty nesters” with the younger two leaving; one to college and the other to play juniors hockey.

Not all the kids will be able to make it home.  We are still getting used to the empty house and it will be tough not to have everyone together, but we understand it’s a necessary evil of having them grow up.

Frying Turkey and Eating Well

As has become a tradition, we are frying a turkey. Here’s a video of how I fried a turkey, 2015. We gave up the oven roasted version a few years ago. That particular Thanksgiving we had several turkeys. No one touched the oven roasted and the fried were devoured. Message was received.

A few years ago, I wrote entitled Eat Right…See Good!: Eye Nutrients and the Thanksgiving Repast. There are just a few tidbits of information which might become useful if the conversation gets a little dry when you are eating on Thursday. It’s a lighter view of dissecting what we are eating and how it might affect your eyes.

My Apology for Laziness

I apologize in the long delay and inconsistency of my posts. I’m in the midst of trying to consistently post on (here), YouTube and a podcast. It has taken a lot more time than I had initially thought.

At the same time, I am expanding our subject matter from retinal diseases of the eye to all of general ophthalmology. Similar subject matter will posted across the different platforms. The idea is to provide patient education across what ever type of platform you prefer;

  1. Reading a website/blog article
  2. Watching and listening to a video
  3. Listening to a podcast

Please Share, Subscribe, Download

I have an ambitious goal of reaching 100k readers per month.  This will take some work on my end, but by expanding the content, I should be able to keep this informative, relevant and interesting.

To help me in this endeavor, please share articles, videos or podcasts which may be of interest to your friends and family.

Subscribing would be appreciated!

Happy Thanksgiving!




Foundation Fighting Blindness Personal

Wong Medical Chair | Foundation Fighting Blindness

FFBI am proud and excited to be the 2014 chair of the Northern Virginia chapter of Foundation Fighting Blindness.

Foundation Fighting Blindness

Foundation Fighting Blindness is a national nonprofit organization and the world’s leading private source for funding research on inherited retinal degenerative diseases, such as;

Since its inception in 1971, FFB has raised nearly $550 million to find cures for retinal diseases.

51 Chapters Across the United States

There are 51 chapters across the United States.  I am chair of the Northern Virginia chapter of Foundation Fighting Blindness and am looking forward to participating in VisionWalk, one of two signature fund raising events of the Foundation.  Our chapter is setting a goal of $140,000.

Please donate on my behalf.

How Can You Help Me?

1.  Make a Donation

Please donate on my behalf to the Foundation Fighting Blindness.  It’s easy, click on the link and give what you can.  Remember, donations are tax deductible in the U.S.

I’ve set an arbitrary goal of $5000.  I am hopeful that with the help of my readers I will exceed this goal.   I know, together, we can do it.  To donate click here.

2. Walk the VisionWalk (Team Randall Wong MD)

If you wish, join my team and walk with my Team,  Amy and me on April 27, 2014 at Cameron Run Regional Park.  You may also find a closer VisionWalk.  Register for a VisionWalk close to you;

To register online:

  1. Go to Vision Walk
  2. Select the Walk close to you.
  3. You can:
    a.  Create a Team
    b.  Join a Team (Team Randall Wong MD)
    c. Participate as an Individual

What Does This Mean?

When I first started practice there weren’t any viable treatments for wet macular degeneration.  Now, in 2014, anti-VEGF injections are saving and the improving the sight of patients with wet ARMD.

Macular patches, stem cells, gene therapy, implantable telescopes are all possible solutions for patients with other retinal degenerative diseases.  I am confident that within this generation, more cures will be discovered for patients with Startgardt’s Disease, Retinitis Pigmentosa and other inherited retinal diseases.

Please support my participation by donating to FFB.

Thank you!



Creating This Blog My Opinion Personal

Happy Birthday to Me….

photo(1)I’m now 53!  My birthday is 9-5.  Here are few random thoughts about my birthday and events of the past year.

The well wishes started the night before with a text from my son, Grant.  I received another 20 or so text messages and about another 90-100 congrats on Facebook.

I got 2 phone calls; my dad and my mother-in-law.

I received 4 cards;  1 each from 2 offices and the surgical center, and one from my mother-in-law.

I received my favorite birthday cake.  AM from Woodburn Surgical Center personally delivered my carrot cake…on her day off!  Thanks AM!

Times have changed.

FaceBook and Texting

I replied personally to every “Happy Birthday” I received on FaceBook and via text.  Social media and texting (from a cell phone) has made communications so much easier and convenient.  I appreciated everyone’s personal time to remember my birthday…even if electronic.

I would never think of writing to thank someone for sending a card via snail mail.

So the next time  you see someone working on their cell phone…they might be wishing someone Happy Birthday.

AARP and Health

Ugh.  Really?  Yes, I am now a member.  Truth is, they had a great dental plan for the family.  Amy switched jobs and now works for our marketing company full time and, thus, had to find new health plans.

I am in relatively good health.  I try not to doctor myself, too much.  Playing the role of patient; however, is very difficult for me.  I don’t like going to another doctor’s office.

I exercise at least 5 times a week.  Cardio tennis is my favorite outlet.  I’ve been promoting our club’s cardio tennis program for over 18 months and now have even more respect for professional tennis players.  I think they must be the best conditioned athletes.

Memory Loss and Medicine Bottles

Seems to me to be occurring more frequently.  I know I know the answer to something and I used to get frustrated.  Now, I just wait with confidence that I’ll remember…in a few minutes.  I wonder why remembering names is the most difficult.

I recently realized that my nighttime bathroom break usually does not wake anyone up, but opening my medicine bottles in the morning does.

Recertification Examination

I sat for my recertification examination yesterday.  What an experience.  First of all, no #2 pencils!

My exam was taken at a Prometric testing center.  I was to carry my photo ID at all times.  No personal articles were allowed including phone and watch.  My personal affects were stored in a locker.

I was escorted to a small booth containing my computer.  Each test taker (many people taking a variety of tests) was monitored by an individual camera.


I took a break between each of 3 parts of my exam.  This required that I sign out and present my ID.

To reenter, I had to;

  1. Present ID
  2. Resign my signature
  3. Lift my pant legs and prove my pockets were empty.
  4. Undergo hand held metal detector screening.

TSA couldn’t do a better job.  Fortunately, no cavity search…this time.

Enjoy the year!



Personal Social Media and Health

Negative Online Reviews

Negative Online Reviews, Opportunity to Show Transparency, Randall V. Wong, M.D.Negative online reviews can be a good thing.  Negative feedback, that is, poor reviews, complaints online, etc., can be maddening.

You don’t even have to have a website.  These days, if a disgruntled patient or employee wants to post something negative about you or your practice, there are countless places where a negative review or comment can be made…blogs, Yelp, Facebook, etc.

You can’t stop it, even if the comments are wrong or misleading…and I just got one.

Respond to Negative Feedback

I advise every doctor to monitor the Internet for both positive and negative reviews.  The reason to find positive feedback is to acknowledge the efforts of the author and thank them as well as to demonstrate you are willing to engage digitally.  This type of transparency is very important for a doctor to be successful online.

The reason is to find negative feedback and neutralize the damage.  While the doc may diffuse the situation, more importantly, a nicely worded “rebuttal” will serve the doctor well by displaying a more human side of himself/herself to future readers.

Also, an unanswered accusation may seem to admit guilt.

Just recently, I was alerted of a “negative” comment about my recent care of a patient.  It was not posted on my blog, nor on a public forum such as Facebook, Google +, etc.  Instead, it was posted in a private community forum (you have to sign up to join).

The Negative Comment

Here’s the negative comment.



I’m 42 years old and had a FOV 6 months ago done by dr. Wong. I read a lot on this board, but i don’t like posting myself. All the postings about Dr. Wong made me mad, so I had to get an account and post.

Besides all the positive stories about Wong, here also very bad experiences. My FOV by Wong went completely wrong. I had hypotony and RD. They tried to fix it, but now, six months after my FOV, my vision is still poor!

when I decided to go for a FOV I knew the risks. So that is not the main thing I am complaining about. But it makes me mad if Wong only tells about the good stories and the great statts. Look at me….dr. Wong also makes mistakes and he is lying about that.

I still think he is a good doctor, in my case it was just bad luck, but he had to be honsest and not lying about statts. I’m sure the are more people who had a FOV by Wong and had a bad outcome.

as i said ai’m not posting a lot, but I could’nt stand the lies by dr. Wong anymore.


My Responsibilities to Every Patient

I have several responsibilities when answering any review, positive or negative, on an open and public forum.  First and foremost, I must maintain this patient’s right to privacy.  No matter how wrong the patient can be,  the offending patient must remain anonymous.

I can’t use his or her name, refer to any identifiable information, etc.  Privacy is every patients right as mandated by HIPAA.

I personally feel that I should respond with limited emotion, if at all.  My intent is to somewhat diffuse the review, but more importantly, to show my readers and future readers that I am willing to engage and I am transparent.  These are key attributes to any doctors’ success online.

My Response

As this poster acknowledges, there are risks with any surgery.  These risks are explained in detail prior to scheduling any surgery with me.  I am quite frank about the possibility of blindness from infection and/or loss of vision from retinal detachment.

The risks of blinding infection (endophthalmitis) are lower with vitrectomy than with cataract surgery.  The risks of retinal detachment are the about same as cataract surgery.

I have personally had one possible infection in 22 years of medical practice.  My rate of complications from retinal detachment are 1-2% overall (this includes all types of retinal surgery, including recurrent retinal detachments), but have dropped significantly since the advent of the safe 25 gauge vitrectomy systems.

In the last two years, I am personally aware of 2 cases of retinal detachment following vitrectomy performed for floaters.  One was repaired successfully and without loss of vision.  This is the second, though I never had the privilege of actually seeing this patient with the actual problem.  I found out through a colleague.

I urge all of the readers of this forum to seriously consider the risks of FOV or any surgery.  To say there are no risks would be a lie. Every surgeon should carefully discuss potential risks and benefits of every procedure so there are no misgivings or misunderstandings.

What Does This Mean?

Most reviews are great and are constructive.

Negative reviews aren’t necessarily bad.  Yes, they do evoke emotion, but aside from that, they can be turned around and used as an opportunity for the doctors show a willingness to engage and to demonstrate transparency.  By resisting the temptation to right every wrong, the negative review allows the doc to show his/her human side for future readers while keeping in mind that not every patient is going to be totally happy or fair.

The picture of the lemons….make some lemonade!



Randall V. Wong, M.D.
Retina Specialist
Fairfax, Virginia

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