William Waldrop, M.D., is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Ophthalmology at UT Southwestern Medical Center. He specializes in cataract, refractive, and corneal surgery; corneal and external eye diseases; and comprehensive ophthalmology. Dr. Waldrop is board certified in ophthalmology.

Dr. Waldrop earned his medical degree at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Medicine, where he was an Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society junior inductee and a member of the Gold Humanism Honor Society. He completed a residency in ophthalmology at UT Southwestern, where he also received advanced fellowship training in treating corneal, cataract, and external disease and in performing keratorefractive surgery. He joined the UT Southwestern faculty in 2017.

Since 2020, Dr. Waldrop has served on the Tissue Transplant Services Center Advisory Committee at UT Southwestern. In 2021, he assumed the role of Medical Director for the Transplant Services Center's Eye Bank. He is also the Associate Director of the Cornea Fellowship Program at UT Southwestern.

Dr. Waldrop is a member of several professional organizations, including the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the American Medical Association, the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery, the Eye Bank Association of America, the Cornea Society, the Ocular Microbiology and Immunology Group, the Texas Medical Association, and the Texas Ophthalmological Association.

Meet Dr. Waldrop

William Waldrop, M.D., is an ophthalmologist with expertise in LASIK, cataract surgery, advanced intraocular lenses, including light-adjustable lens (LAL) surgery, and corneal transplant surgery at UT Southwestern in Dallas.

From the start of his medical career, Dr. Waldrop has been fascinated with the intricacies of the human eye and the abilities of modern medicine to help people’s sight. His passion for helping patients of all ages improve their vision has been a driving force in his career.

"The field of ophthalmology is a thrilling one to be a part of, as it constantly evolves,” he says. “With the advanced technology available at UT Southwestern, we can now fine-tune a patient's vision using artificial intelligence and light-adjustable lenses and perform surgeries with smaller incisions, leading to more minimally invasive procedures."

Cataract Surgery with the Use of LALs at UT Southwestern

Over the last couple of decades, cataract and vision correction surgery have become synonymous. Using LALs, Dr. Waldrop can adjust the lens once it's inside the patient's eye, providing a more personalized refractive outcome and improving vision.

Patients who choose LAL often need only minor adjustments done over multiple sessions. Despite the extra time and effort, in the right patient, the results offer enhanced vision and potentially reduce or eliminate the need for glasses.

This is just one of the ways cataract surgery has evolved and continues to improve.

"Less invasive surgery and greater precision leads to better outcomes, which allows for earlier treatment of cataracts,” Dr. Waldrop says. “This results in faster recovery and improved overall results, so there is this self-perpetuation in the field."

At UT Southwestern, doctors can also remove the patient’s natural lens before cataracts form and replace it with LALs or similar lenses. For patients who struggle with adjusting to contact lenses or are just tired of wearing glasses, the latest advances in intraocular lenses offer a great alternative.

Eye Surgery at UT Southwestern in Dallas

Choosing a facility equipped with the latest technology is crucial for patients considering LASIK, cataract surgery, or LAL surgery.

"At UT Southwestern, we are fortunate to have gold standards in imaging equipment, which is essential for screening a patient's candidacy," Dr. Waldrop says.

Meeting the surgeon who will perform the procedure is equally important. Dr. Waldrop personally consults with all his patients and follows up with each one during post-operative care to ensure continuity and immediate attention to any issues that may arise.

The Laser Center, where Dr. Waldrop and his team consult with patients, perform laser surgery, and operate, is located within the same building, ensuring seamless coordination. Dr. Waldrop has worked with a consistent team throughout his tenure at UT Southwestern, benefiting from a multidimensional experience that spans multiple generations of doctors.

"LASIK surgery was FDA-approved in 1999, and the doctors who established the Laser Center were involved in the initial trials, proving the surgery's safety and effectiveness. This proud history continues to influence the high-quality care provided today, with many team members either directly involved in those early days or trained by those physicians," he says.

Dr. Waldrop is a dedicated ophthalmologist with a solid commitment to volunteer work. His service on the Tissue Transplant Services Center Advisory Committee at UT Southwestern has deeply connected him to the world of transplantation.

"You see the profound impact transplant surgery has on patients, and it's a poignant reminder of the families who have donated their loved one's organs," he says. “The ability to transplant the cornea is particularly significant, as it doesn't require systemic medication post-surgery. This type of transplant dramatically improves a person's vision and provides a meaningful legacy for the donor's family.”

Corneal transplants are often needed due to conditions present at birth or dystrophies (disorders that cause progressive weakening of the tissues or organs) that worsen over time, sometimes coinciding with the development of cataracts. Cataract surgery can make corneal issues worse, leading to a tipping point where the eye becomes cloudy.

Early recognition allows for the possibility of combining cataract surgery with a corneal transplant. Over the past 20 years, these surgeries have become less invasive, more precise, and more successful.

The Promise of the Future: Eye Care at UT Southwestern

The future of eye care is promising, especially with the advent of new lens technologies. Dr. Waldrop notes that while some patients may not be candidates for specific procedures today, this isn't the end of the road.

"I tell some of my patients that technology just hasn't caught up with their eyes yet, but rapid advancements mean new solutions are continually emerging."

In the News

Dr. Waldrop speaks with KRLD News Radio 1080 on LASIK surgery in Ask The Expert: What Are The Dangers of LASIK Eye Surgery?

Dr. Waldrop speaks with KERA news on eyelid hygiene in Eyelid Hygiene: An Often Overlooked Key To Healthy Eyes.

Personal Note

A native of Houston, Dr. Waldrop lives in Dallas with his wife and two daughters.

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Education & Training
  • Fellowship - UT Southwestern Medical Center (2017-2018), Cornea, External Disease & Keratorefractive Surgery
  • Medical School - Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (2009-2013)
  • Internship - University Medical Center at Brackenridge (Formerly Brackenridge Hospital) (2013-2014), Internal Medicine
  • Residency - UT Southwestern Medical Center (2014-2017), Ophthalmology
Honors & Awards
  • Texas Monthly Super Doctors, Rising Star 2020
Books & Publications

Clinical Focus

  • Cornea & External Disease
  • Refractive & Cataract Surgery
  • Comprehensive Ophthalmology
  • Cataracts

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