Meet the Surgeon – DMEI’s Dr. Bell

Dr. Bell sits for a professional photo.

At the Dean McGee Eye Institute (DMEI), we’re proud to offer a full spectrum of comprehensive eye care. From basic eye exams to advanced surgical treatments for cataracts and other eye conditions, our medical staff is experienced in every eye specialty.

One of DMEI’s newest additions to the physician team brings strong Oklahoma ties and a wealth of experience in eye care to our clinic and ambulatory surgery center.

Meet the Surgeon - Dr. Bell

Dr. John M. Bell joined DMEI’s roster about six months ago. Though relatively new to DMEI, Dr. Bell’s distinguished career in ophthalmology makes him an asset to DMEI’s surgical and clinical teams.

Dr. Bell is a Norman native. He earned his undergraduate degree at the University of Oklahoma and received his MD at the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine. His residency was completed at the Scott and White Medical Center, a top-ranked teaching hospital in Temple, Texas. His clinical focus is comprehensive ophthalmology and ophthalmic surgery. This includes his special interest in cataract and lens implant surgery.

Before joining the ranks at DMEI, he practiced for 26 years at the Oklahoma City Clinic. For 15 of those years, he served as the clinic’s president. Never losing ties to OU, his impressive career includes serving on the OU Board of Regents.

The McGee Eye Surgery Center

The McGee Eye Surgery Center is housed within the Harold Hamm Diabetes Center which is across the street from DMEI’s main facility located on Stanton L. Young Boulevard in Oklahoma City on the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center campus. The surgery center is an out-patient facility and the surgeries performed here do not require patients to be hospitalized overnight for recovery.

The fully licensed and AAAHC-accredited surgery center provides exceptional, quality care to patients. The surgeons who perform procedures at the center are supported by qualified anesthesiologists, registered nurses, and office personal who are fully trained and passionate about providing care. The technology used in procedures is advanced and all procedures meet the standard of care set forth by Medicare and surgical governing bodies.

Procedures performed at the center include cataract surgery, retina surgery, and glaucoma-related procedures like the minimally-invasive ABiC surgery and the CyPass® Micro-Stent implant surgery.

What to Expect Before and After Eye Surgery

It’s important that patients have a safe ride planned post-procedure. Since their vision may not be fully restored until several hours to several days later, patients must bring an able driver to take them home after their procedure. In fact, patients will not be checked-in without their driver present.

Surgeries begin early in the day.

“We try to start early around 7 AM,” says Dr. Bell, who performs nearly 40 procedures a month at the center.

In the caring environment of the MESC, patients wait and prepare for their procedures comfortably with the support of the surgery center staff. DMEI surgeons meet with patients before and after their procedures.

“We have personally examined the patients on whom we are to perform surgery, and we follow up with them after their surgery for a checkup and post-procedure care instructions,” Dr. Bell says.

Patients are usually given anesthesia for cataract surgery, with the procedure typically taking about eight to 15 minutes. Recovery time for patients will vary based on the procedure and the individual patient’s medical background. For the cataract procedures Dr. Bell preforms, recovery typically takes 30 minutes. He says patients are often surprised by how quickly the process takes and are pleased with the surgery center’s competence and overall care.

“The feedback we get is really positive,” Dr. Bell says. “Patients are pleased with the care from our office staff and nursing team—that’s what’s nice about working at a place like DMEI.”

He often hears that patients wish they had the procedures performed earlier, especially with cataract surgery.

“The most common thing I hear is, ‘[surgery] was so easy--why did I wait so long?’ They’re usually excited to get the procedure on their other eye,” he says.

Advanced Surgical Care at DMEI

If you think you or a loved one might be a candidate for cataract or other eye-related surgeries, request an appointment at DMEI. A comprehensive eye exam with our one of our many qualified physicians will determine the next steps in your eye health treatment. 

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