Meet a Specialist: Ambika Hoguet, M.D.
As a glaucoma specialist, Dr. Ambika Hoguet is passionate about making a difference in her patients’ lives. As a member of the Mass. Eye and Ear Glaucoma Service, she diagnoses and treats primary and secondary glaucoma in adults and children. A top-notch surgeon, Dr. Hoguet specializes in complicated glaucoma surgery and pediatric glaucoma.
“Glaucoma is a group of diseases that damage the optic nerve. It’s a chronic, or lifelong, condition. Left untreated, it progresses to irreversible vision loss, which underscores the critical need for early diagnosis and proper management,” said Dr. Hoguet.
There are several treatment options for patients with glaucoma, including medications, laser surgery, and incisional surgery. When seeing patients, Dr. Hoguet stresses the importance of having open discussions about these treatment options so that she and her patients can decide together about the best treatment.
For instance, when one of her patients came to her with advanced glaucoma, she explained that there were two surgical options—the gold-standard trabeculectomy and the increasingly popular tube shunt surgery. Both surgeries address the problem of excess fluid buildup in the eye, which if left untreated, leads to optic nerve damage and loss of vision. However, trabeculectomy involves removing a piece of tissue in the eye, allowing it to drain, while tube shunt surgery involves placing a flexible tube in the eye to help drain fluid.
As a result of these conversations, Dr. Hoguet often develops long-term relationships with her patients and puts a lot of thought into tailoring each person’s treatment plan to his/her specific needs. For instance, she recently treated an international patient who had extremely poor vision as a result of advanced cataracts and glaucoma. Dr. Hoguet customized a treatment plan that would work around the patient’s busy travel schedule and helped coordinate care in her home country.
“The results were life-changing. The patient’s vision and quality of life improved dramatically because she was receiving appropriate and consistent care,” Dr. Hoguet said.
Dr. Hoguet first became interested in glaucoma and cataracts as a medical student at Duke University. During that time, she volunteered in her community, and even traveled to India, where she screened patients for vision problems, as well as glaucoma and cataracts. “I could see that my work was really having an impact on patients’ lives,” she said.
Dr. Hoguet went on to complete her ophthalmology residency at New York Eye and Ear Infirmary, where she was appointed Chief Resident in Ophthalmology. She then pursued a glaucoma fellowship at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute in Miami, Florida.
In addition to her clinical practice, Dr. Hoguet conducts research aimed at improving patient care. “My research is driven by my interactions with patients. I’m constantly asking questions like, ‘What surgical treatments are most appropriate? How could we improve outcomes?’ My research is an opportunity to find answers.”
In addition to studying the diagnosis, classification, and categorization of childhood glaucoma, Dr. Hoguet investigates surgical innovations and techniques that may help improve glaucoma surgery.
“Every day, research is advancing our understanding of glaucoma and enabling us to develop novel therapies for our patients. While there is still a tremendous amount to learn, I’m hopeful that our research will continue to improve each patient’s quality of life and ultimately lead to a cure,” said Dr. Hoguet.
Dr. Hoguet’s research has been recognized with numerous awards and accolades. Of particular note, she received a Travel Grant to attend the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology annual meeting, and the Louis J. Girard Award for excellence in research during residency. She is a professional member of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, American Glaucoma Society, Association for Cataract and Refractive Surgery, and Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology.
In addition to seeing patients and working in the laboratory, Dr. Hoguet mentors students and residents. “It is a privilege to work with such high-caliber residents. They are extremely intelligent and enthusiastic group, and it is incredibly rewarding to help them grow in their careers,” said Dr. Hoguet.
Contact Dr. Hoguet’s office at 617-573-3670.
View Dr. Hoguet’s online bio for more information.
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