“I like eyes. I think they’re the most interesting part of the body.”
Without a doubt, Dr. C. Allyn Hildebrand has made the right career choice. A Doctor of Optometry at the Campbell Cunningham Laser Center since 1989, Dr. Hildebrand estimates that he has seen over 15,000 refractive surgery patients. That’s a lot of eyes!
“I love the patients,” he says. “I know it sounds cliché, but I love patient interaction and I like helping people see better. You can do a lot of tangible good, day in and day out, in eye care.”
Dr. Hildebrand did his undergrad work at the University of Memphis (then known as Memphis State University). “I thought about medical school and was fascinated with surgery,” he says. “I was lucky enough to become First Assistant in St. Francis Hospital, working in surgical procedures such as open heart, orthopedic, abdominal and plastics.”
“I quickly developed a love for the medical field and wanted to find my place in helping people,” Hildebrand goes on to say. It was around that time that Dr. Hildebrand discovered his special interest in the field of eye care. “It’s that tangible gratification I was after,” he says. “Once I entered the field, I really liked what I could do and Optometry was something I grew to love.”
“I do nearly all of the post-op and pre-operative care for patients here at Campbell Cunningham Laser Center,” Hildebrand says. “I also do primary eye care, including general eye exams, glasses and contacts, eye health and I also manage and treat dry eyes, glaucoma, diabetic and other eye diseases.”
Every patient is special to Dr. Hildebrand. But, those with particularly challenging experiences with corrective lenses can be even more rewarding. “For me, it’s patients who have had an incredibly bad experience in wearing contacts due to dry eyes. They are at the end of the line when it comes to alternatives for glasses. In many cases, LASIK is the answer they are looking for.”
Dr. Hildebrand points to Intralase or Blade-Free LASIK, as a groundbreaking procedure made possible by advancements in software development. “It does a great job and increases the safety factor,” he says. “The flap is consistent and amazingly precise, allowing us to better predict outcomes.”
What brought Dr. Hildebrand to Knoxville and the Campbell Cunningham Laser Center? “It was the opportunity to work with the best surgeons in the region,” he says. “I have particularly enjoyed my relationships with Drs. Campbell and Cunningham as well as what I believe to be the most qualified and experienced staff in the area. We have great employees here who are knowledgeable, experienced and are a pleasure to be around.”
When Dr. Hildebrand isn’t caring for eyes, he enjoys outdoor activities including hiking in the Smokies. Along with Dr. Cunningham, he hiked Mt. Rainier and Mt. Everest Base Camp. Dr. Hildebrand also enjoys running, biking and music and working with Lion’s Club and InterFaith Health Clinic. He and his wife Lisa have two children, Sara and Austen.