Utahans in Need Receive Free Vision-Saving Surgery by Local Eye Surgeons

Doctors with The Eye Institute of Utah will be performing 26 free cataract and corneal surgeries for Operation Sight’s Charity Surgery Week.

April 5, 2016

Salt Lake City, UTSalt Lake City eye surgeons are kicking off April by participating in Operation Sight Charity Surgery Week, helping restore vision and quality of life to a number of Utahans in need. Operation Sight is a U.S.-based charitable program, organized by the American Society for Cataract and Refractive Surgery (ASCRS) Foundation, a group focused on providing sight-saving eye surgery to patients in need and eliminating preventable blindness caused by cataracts.

Surgeons at The Eye Institute of Utah will be performing 26 surgeries throughout the first week in April. Surgeries will be performed by Drs. Robert J. Cionni, Charles H. Weber, and Zachary J. Zavodni, and will include mostly cataract surgeries, with a few corneal surgeries. In addition to The Eye Institute of Utah, two other Utah practices will participate in Operation Sight, including the University of Utah’s John A. Moran Eye Center and the St. George Eye Center.

Robert J. Cionni, MD, Medical Director of The Eye Institute of Utah and current President of the ASCRS Foundation said, “The majority of eye conditions that cause vision impairment and blindness are preventable or treatable. Unfortunately, many people are unable to have sight-restoring eye surgery due to cost. Operation Sight has created more opportunities for doctors throughout the country to obtain the necessary financial support and resources to offer free eye surgery to those who need it most. We are committed to an ongoing collaboration with Operation Sight and supporting organizations across the country to expand the program and work towards eliminating cataract blindness, one community at a time.”

The ASCRS Foundation offers financial support and access to resources and personnel to help make charity surgery events a success. Many ophthalmic device and pharmaceutical companies donate surgical supplies to help offset the cost of charitable eye surgery, and countless doctors, surgical staff, technicians, and other support staff donate their time to make these surgeries possible. Patients who are selected to participate in Operation Sight charity surgery events receive surgery, pre- and post-op examinations, and eye drops free of charge.

The ultimate goal of the Operation Sight program is to eradicate preventable cataract blindness in the United States. Although cataract surgery is a very routine surgery in the U.S., many Americans in poverty do not have health insurance or cannot afford the cost of cataract surgery. If left untreated, cataracts can eventually lead to severe vision impairment or blindness, which can make functioning and working day-to-day extremely difficult or impossible. This loss of productivity creates an even greater burden to the person already struggling through poverty, and also creates a strain our economy. Charity Surgery Week helps restore vision and hope to people throughout our communities, allowing these people to return to work and better provide for their families.

About The Eye Institute of Utah

Since 1980, The Eye Institute of Utah has been a leading provider in eye care, specializing in cataract and refractive surgery procedures including LASIK, PRK, ICL, KAMRA Inlay, and more. The Eye Institute of Utah also offers clinical and surgical treatment for glaucoma, dry eye, retinal disease, corneal disease, and other conditions. The team of surgeons at The Eye Institute of Utah has performed more than 100,000 vision correction surgeries and more than 80,000 cataract procedures. The Eye Institute of Utah participates in clinical research and is committed to advancing technology and surgical techniques in the eye care field.  

About ASCRS Foundation

The ASCRS Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization, which works to support physician education and to provide humanitarian cataract surgery in the United States and the developing world. Through its programs and partnerships, the foundation works to maximize the benefits of modern ophthalmology and to treat thousands of needy patients each year.

To learn more about The Eye Institute of Utah, please visit theeyeinstitute.com or facebook.com/theeyeinstitute.


The Eye Institute of Utah
755 East 3900 South
Salt Lake City, UT 84107
(801) 266-2283