• Dr. Irene Ludwig, Ophthalmologist at Eye Center South, Authors New Surgical Textbook

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    May 21, 2021
    Eye Center South Ophthalmologist Dr. Irene Ludwig recently authored “Strabismus Surgery, Innovative and Classic Approaches” a textbook and training guide for students and practicing ophthalmologists. Writing this book was a collaborative effort dedicated to the late Dr. Marshall Parks, internationally regarded as the visionary founder of the subspecialty of Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus. Strabismus is a condition that affects an estimated 3 million people in the U.S. where a person’s eyes do not properly align. Sometimes referred to as “crossed eyes,” strabismus is the third most common ophthalmic surgery in the US, with 1.2 million procedures performed each year.

    Ludwig was assisted in this project by several generations of Marshall Parks’ family. Mary Heersink, Park’s daughter artfully illustrated the complex anatomy of the eye muscles and pulleys that are featured throughout the textbook. “I was honored to create the illustrations for her book, and in that sense feel closer to my father professionally and the superb legacy he created caring for children” said Mary. Dr. Marnix Heersink, Parks’ son-in-law, and Dr. Sebastian Heersink, his grandson both provided facility personnel support to help complete the project. 

    Dr. Paul Mitchell, another Dr. Parks’ son-in-law, contributed a chapter that chronicles the fascinating history of strabismus surgery that dates to 2723 B.C.  

    Another grandson of Dr. Parks, aptly named Christiaan Marshall Heersink, contributed a unique section to a chapter on collagen. Christiaan is currently pursuing a degree in Ophthalmology from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), alongside his twin brother Marius Heersink. The Heersink family was eager to contribute to Dr. Ludwig’s project to advance the science Dr. Parks dedicated his career to expand.

    Dr. Ludwig has long been recognized in her field as a leading expert on strabismus surgery. “This book attempts a radically different approach in organization of material focused on mechanism rather than the traditional organization of patterns” she said. Recent research shows that strabismus has a mechanical etiology more frequently than previously thought, and that by correcting the mechanical defects, more targeted correction is possible. The approaches described in this textbook will help trainees and seasoned ophthalmologists achieve more precise and lasting results. 

    Dr. Ludwig has been the Pediatric Director of Ophthalmology and Strabismus at Eye Center South since 1991 and divides her time between her homes in Dothan, Alabama and Nashville, Tennessee.  Eye Center South is a regional Ophthalmology Specialty practice headquartered in Dothan, Alabama.  She provides pediatric ophthalmology care to patients at the Dothan, Alabama location, as well as two locations in Florida – Panama and Destin.

    Board certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology, Dr. Ludwig has served as a professor or instructor at the LSU Medical Center in New Orleans, the University of Tennessee, the Albany Medical College of Union University in New York, and Columbia University. She is a frequent lecturer and presenter on a variety of ophthalmology topics internationally and holds a medical degree from Cornell University and a BA from Queens College of the City University of New York.

    Eye Center South has nine locations in Alabama, Florida, and Georgia. Its 20 doctors provide a full range of ophthalmology services and surgeries ranging from cataract and glaucoma care to LASIK and retina surgery. Learn more by visiting www.eyecentersouth.net.
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