Neurosurgeon from Merit Health Biloxi saves patient’s eyesight

A visit to the optometrist quickly turned into a life-threatening situation.
Published: Jul. 26, 2022 at 10:17 PM CDT
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BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) -Imagine doing your everyday makeup routine and realizing you have no peripheral vision.

Britney Le has always struggled with eyesight problems but recently found out she had a tumor growing in her pituitary gland bigger than an inch.

“I had no peripherals and that’s what really scared me because that didn’t come out too, oh I needed stronger prescription or glasses,” the 27-year-old said.

A visit to the optometrist quickly turned into a life-threatening situation. Le was then referred to a specialist who identified the tumor.

“That’s when he requested an MRI scan of my brain and of my optic nerves. When we got the results back that’s when he showed me I had this large mass on my pituitary gland,” Le said.

Le’s specialist contacted neurosurgeon Dr. Miguel Melgar from Merit Health Hospital in Biloxi. According to Melgar, when Le walked into the examination room, she was considered legally blind. If she would have waited any longer, he said, she would have completely lost all vision.

“Even in that condition. In my experience, less than 20% of people recover their vision to a normal level,” Melgar said.

Prior to working in Biloxi, Melgar worked in New Orleans where most of his patients who had pituitary tumors were young like Le. He said most of them don’t see it coming because they associate being healthy with being young.

According to Melgar, Le’s surgery to remove the tumor was very risky and could’ve led to her losing all vision. Luckily, Le fully recovered her vision after receiving the two-hour surgery.

Melgar and Le want to emphasize you should get your eyes checked out regularly to avoid life-threatening situations, even if you are young.

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