Dr. Yong goes to Oman

Posted in Larrazabal Eye News and Events, Larrazabal Eye Press Room on March 30, 2009 by larrazabaleye

Dr. Yong Larrazabal visited the Muscat Eye Laser Center in Muscat, Oman last April 14 to 15, 2009 to check out the Latest Excimer Laser Machine by Schwind, the Amaris.  Ziemer Femtosecond laser used to create corneal flaps without using blades. Observed Dr Maria Clara Arboleza perform surgeries.


Run for Sight Donates to Children’s Foundation Written by Cebu Daily News – What’s Up?

Posted in Larrazabal Eye Press Room on December 1, 2008 by larrazabaleye

Monday, 01 December 2008

Proceeds of the 3rd Run For Sight benefited more than the 150 children of the SAPAK (Samahan Para sa Pagpapaunlad ng Kabataan). Run For Sight’s Dr. Yong Larrazabal, together with his family, spearheaded the feeding program for the organization last November 16. SAPAK was founded by Rev. Fr. Emmanuel Non S.J.

Aside from the feeding program , Run For Sight also provided the school with two sacks of rice and mineral water. Donna Cruz-Larrazabal, Dr. Yong’s wife and popular actress, serenaded the children with a beautiful song.

Organized by Cebu Doctor’s Univeristy , Run For Sight is an annual activity that gathers runners for a marathon for a cause.

Cebu Daily News ( November 25 2008)

Physicians of Inspiration by James Abilla

Posted in Larrazabal Eye Press Room on November 18, 2008 by larrazabaleye

Last October 12, over 33,000 runners congregated near Michigan Avenue in downtown Chicago.  As the morning sun began inching above the horizon, sweaters, enough to clothe a small village, began piling up on the sidewalks around Grant Park.  Among the sea of runners are Cebu’s own local physicians Peter Mancao and Yong Larrazabal, anxiously stretching, waiting to make their way to the Start.  It is sixteen minutes after the gun before they pass the first of many timing pads along the meandering 42-km Chicago Marathon course.  By the time they cross the Start gate, it is 8:16 am, and the temperature has risen 7-degrees.  The seeded runners from Kenya had taken off 16 minutes earlier and were already 8.5 kilometers in front of the pack.

Dr. Larrazabal (Yong), a soft-spoken, highly disciplined individual, is no stranger to the marathon scene.  Driven by a need to accomplish tasks that are not for the faint of heart, he approaches his running fitness with the same methodical process he employs for each of the numerous ultra-precise eye surgeries he performs daily.  Dr. Mancao (Peter), in contrast, is more pragmatic about his involvement with the sport, ever-cognizant about his physical limitations, never pushing beyond what his body tells him is out of reach.  A masterful cardio-thoracic surgeon, he knows full well the extent to which the heart can endure challenges and yet maintain normal function. Both struck me as remarkable individuals since the three of us began training together for long-distance running.

Yong breezed through to the 21-km sensor at his planned pace, well on track to finish at 4 hours.  Peter logged 3hrs-2min at the half-marathon sensor, but still within his planned finish time.  By this time, it is almost noon in Chicago, not a cloud in the sky, and the temperature a searing 32.7 degrees C.

Yong passes the 30-km sensor an hour after he crossed the half-marathon mark when both quadriceps suddenly knot and he is forced by pain to sit on the gutter.  A group of Canadian spectators rush to Yong’s aid, one holding his arms from behind, that the rest stretching his legs.  At around that same time, Peter just crosses the 25-km mark, his legs screaming to rest, seeking to stop the incessant ice-pick stabs to each calf and thigh.  Amid the cheering spectators, Peter walks and ponders quitting.  His sisters, who were tracking his real-time progress via wireless feed, became concerned when they saw his sensor stop on the course map and immediately called his cell to check on him.  Peter decides to press on, this time walking, to contain the debilitating pain in his legs.

I crossed the Finish to find Yong drained of all energy, taking shelter behind a billboard, head bowed down between his legs, still sweating.  He was spent like I was, and we both wondered how Peter was doing.  Two hours after I finished, we saw the familiar gait of Dr. Mancao, head held high as he lumbered past the finish.  Around his neck was a Chicago Marathon finishers’ medal.  It was 35.6 degrees C, and Peter had been on the course for over 7 hours.  The Kenyans had packed, checked-out, and were boarding their return flights at O’Hare.  Peter’s broken body was in stark contrast to the radiant smile on his face – an infectious one that elicited even a bigger smile from Yong.  I was proud to be there with them at the finishers’ gate, as we each wore our medals and realized that we had, once again, done the impossible.

Most people do not realize the dedication, strength, and perseverance it takes to prepare for long-distance running.  In a way, it is similar to the way one should plan for a healthy, long life, having the will to cut down on maybe a favorite but utterly unhealthy dish, or to get out from a comfortable bed to be less-than-comfortable in the midst of a brisk walk. These two physician-friends of mine seem to actually yearn for that which is difficult.  I asked them what drives this compulsion to subject themselves to a mind-boggling 42-km run year after year.  “We just want to be fit and live longer”, both modestly reply.  I think there is a larger message they want to convey, although they would hesitate to admit it. Rather than lecture us on why we should get off the couch, our running doctors seem to prefer showing us that it can be done.

James Abilla lives in San Francisco, California and owns the international gourmet brand St. James Premium Water.


Posted in Larrazabal Eye News and Events, Uncategorized on October 24, 2008 by larrazabaleye

Larrazabal Eye: Then and now

Cebu Daily News

September 6 2008

LARRAZABAL Eye has come a long way since it was established 12 years ago by Dr. Potenciano “Yong” Larrazabal III, who was then fresh from his residency training at the University of the Philippines- Philippines General Hospital.

“A patient a day,” remembers Dr. Yong of the early days of his practice.

Dr. Yong opened Larrazabal Eye in Cebu Doctors’ Hospital in Osmeña Blvd., Cebu City on September 2, 1996. He was one of the only two staff manning the budding Larrazabal Eye.

Fast forward to 2008, Dr. Yong looks back on years of making great strides not only for Larrazabal Eye but for eye care in Metro Cebu in general.

He is now running three more clinics, besides the first center, and looks after significantly more patients. These centers are located in Cebu Doc Group of Hospitals Mactan Doctors’ (Lapu-Lapu City), South General Hospital (Naga City), and North General Hospital (Talamban, Cebu City).

Keeping up with the eye care center’s growth in his team which now comprises two ophthalmologist, five optometrists and 13 support staff. They help look after around 70 to 80 patients everyday whose concerns range from the simplest eye problems to most complicated.

The center, according to its website, has performed 25, 000 surgeries. It is also proud of its very dynamic culture and emphasis on excellence and innovation. Dr. Larrazabal adds that he makes it at a point to acquire high-tech equipment for his clinics and provide world-class service at affordable rates.

In eye care, machines and technologies are indispensable. They allow doctors to perform sophisticated procedures to correct a wide range of problems.

One of the most popular and effective procedures at Larrazabal Eye is cataract surgery which can be classified as “painless” because there is no need for injections, cuts, and stitches. Doctors of the center drop a small amount of anesthetic agent to numb the eye and “remove” the cataract via ultrasound. A special intraocular lens is then put in place.

Besides this, clinic also offers treatments that correct that correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, glaucoma, pterygeum, strabismus or misalignment of the eyes, cornea transplant, treatment for any disease affecting the retina, and other common eye diseases.

For more information about Larrazabal Eye and its services, visit its website at www.larrazabaleye.com. Or call 254-2020 (Cebu Doctors’ Hospital), 344-2020 (North General Hospital), 272-2020 (South General Hospital), and 340-2020 (Mactan Doctors’ Hospital). (AILEEN GARCIA-YAP)

Eye Talk With Dr. Yong Larrazabal

Posted in Larrazabal Eye News and Events, Uncategorized on October 24, 2008 by larrazabaleye



August 17 2008

Eye talk with Dr. Yong Larrazabal

The eyes are very important part of the body. The great Roman orator Marcus Tulius Cicero even said that the eyes, like sentinel, occupy the highest place in the body. We see the beauty of God’s creations with our eyes and without these, this beautiful world would just be black space.

Ophthalmologist Potenciano “Yong” Larrazabal III of Cebu Doctors’ Hospital, Larrazabal Eye and Centre for Sight shared that 70 to a hundred people visit his clinic everyday for consultations. He said the hospital has invested so much on new equipment to better serve patients who come to them for different eye conditions. Infact, Dr. Yong said that aside from having a team of young and innovative doctors, he regularly attends conventions abroad to improve his craft. Last year, he attended a convention in Sweden and this year in Berlin.

“We want to provide our patients with world class eye care at affordable rates. That’s why we want to constantly be updated with what’s new in our field,” he added.

According to Dr. Yong, the most common eye problem, based on the number of patients who visit his clinic, are cataracts, and those who want to have Lasik treatment.

Cataracts, he explained, causes visit to become opaque or clouded. This interferes with vision by blocking out light. It is most often due to the normal aging process. A cataract clouds vision by preventing light from passing through the lens to focus on the retina at the back of the eye.

Lasik, meanwhile, stands for LASER ASSISTED IN SITU KERATOMILEUSIS, a form of laser surgery capable of correcting nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. The procedure uses a computer controlled excimer laser to reshape the cornea to correct vision. The laser reshaping is done under a protective flap of tissue to promote a very rapid recovery of vision and minimize discomfort.


“The lens of the eye works much like the lens of a camera. If the lens of your camera is dirty or fogged, then the picture taken will be hazy or blurred. A cataract causes the light focusing on the retina to be blurred in the same manner,” he said, adding that aging causes cataracts and the average age of people who go to him with the problem is 65 years old. A person who has a cataract has a darkened, cloudy, yellow and blurred vision.

But while having cataracts are inevitable because everyone ages, Dr. Yong said that there are procedures that can correct the problem.

Cataract surgery, he said, is an outpatient procedure that uses local anesthesia in the form of eyedrops to ensure comfort. He shared but he usually does five to 10 cataract surgeries a day. “Patients are awake during the surgery. Eye patches are not even required after surgery, and restrictions are minimal,” he added.

A small incision is made in the eye during a cataract surgery. Then, the cataractous lens is dissolved and removed using ultrasound or what is called phacoemulsification. A special intraocular lens or lens implant is then put in place to replace the lens that was removed.

“Since it is usually old people who get cataracts, there is this thinking that their eye problems do not need to be corrected. But this is wrong. Old people are already slow in movement so the only things they get to enjoy are the things that they see like their grandchildren, television. Cataract surgery can make the quality of life of these people better,” he said.


Lasik treatment, Dr. Yong said, is recommended for patients 18 years or older who have nearsightedness, with or without astigmatism, or hyperopia and meet certain visual and medical criteria.

“Because of Lasik, people who dreamed of becoming pilots, stewardesses or policemen but were no0t accepted because they do not have 20/20 vision were able to become what they want to be,” beamed Dr. Yong.

He said the best candidates for such treatment are those are dissatisfied with their contact lenses or glasses and are motivated to make a change, whether it’s due to occupational or lifestyle reasons. The procedure, he explained, usually takes about five to 10 minutes.

While some eye problems like cataracts are inevitable, Dr. Yong said that the best way to take care of one’s eye is to live a healthy lifestyle and use protective eyewear like sunglasses when out in the sun.

“Smoking, diabetes and steroid use can also cause early cataracts so one really has to take care of one’s health to be able to take care of one’s eyes,” he said.(EXECUTIVE EDITOR: MARLINDA ANGBETIC TAN, ASST. LIFESTYLE EDITOR: QUENNIE SANCHEZ)

Doc Yong Larrazabal: Man With A Vision

Posted in Larrazabal Eye Press Room on October 24, 2008 by larrazabaleye


Cebu Daily News

August 29 2008


Man with a vision

Meet this young ophthalmologist, who not only looks after his patient’s eyes, but also looks out for the future.

Doctor Potenciano “Yong” Larrazabal III has a passion for new things, innovation, and ideas. Doc Yong spearheaded the recently concluded Cebu Doctors’ University (CDU) Run. For the third year in a row, he finished first in the 10-kilometer men’s category.

He attributes his success to his healthy lifestyle. “Aside form running every day before bedtime, I don’t smoke and sleep early,” he shared.

According to Doc Yong, all throughout his 12 years of practice, he always had a heavy daily schedule. Lately, he found a new way to deal with burnout and stay healthy at the same time: running.

“Actually,” Doc Yong said, “I originally played basketball. But I was prone to hurt my fingers and this was very risky for someone who operates on eyes”. Doc Yong is serious in his running and health regimen.

Since he started running two years ago, he has joined a total of four marathons, two of them international (in New York and Hong Kong). He is set to join the 42- kilometer marathon in Chicago this November 12. He has even persuaded his wife, popular singer and actress Donna Cruz, to join in last year’s six- kilometer run in the women’s category.

The CDU Run is one of the activities organized and conducted by Doc Yong’s brainchild, the Run for Sight Foundation (http://www.runforsight.net/). Proceeds from the three runs went into funding bloodletting and medical missions and rehabilitation of parts of the Guimaras coast after oil spill.

“You see, at the end of the day, what is important is that we make people smile and be happy, “Doc Yong told Cebu Daily News.

He shared his experience with actor Antonio Aquitania and his younger brother back when the former was still a virtual unknown. He related that Antonio came into the emergency room of Philippine General Hospital carrying his six-year-old brother who had laceration near the eye. Since they had very little money, he paid for the materials needed for the operation.

“Later when I married Donna, Antonio’s manager came over to her and told her that buotan ang iya husband( her husband is very kind),”Doc Yong said, smiling at reminiscence.

Doc Yong’s Larrazabal Eye Clinic, located inside the Cebu Doctors’ Hospital complex in Osmeña Blvd., Cebu City, exemplifies his dedication to his craft and to helping others. It offers the latest in cataract surgery at affordable terms. The more advanced methods enable patients to see near and far shortly after surgery is performed. For more information, visit the website at www.larrazabaleye.com (KAREEN KRISTEEN VALMORIA)

With an eye on Chicago, Yong Larrazabal runs

Posted in Larrazabal Eye Press Room on October 21, 2008 by larrazabaleye

Thursday, October 09, 2008
Pages: With an eye on Chicago, Yong Larrazabal runs
By John Pages
Match Point


BARACK Obama of Chicago is running—yes, we know that—but not this Sunday’s marathon at his home city. Two Cebuano doctors, meanwhile, will run 42 kilometers at The Windy City: Potenciano “Yong” Larrazabal III and Peter Mancao.

Chicago will be Yong’s fifth marathon (after NYC, Hong Kong, and the Pasig and Milo marathons in Manila). How many 42Ks does Yong expect to finish? “I plan to complete 33 marathons in my lifetime,” he said. “I pray to God that he gives me good health and that he protects me from injuries for me to attain this.”

Wow… 33 marathons! That’s beyond phenomenal. But if there’s one who can accomplish that feat, it’s Yong. Why? Because he’s ultra-driven; working not only long hours at the Larrazabal Eye center (at the family-owned Cebu Doctors’ University Hospital) but also finding time to train hard.

“Training is great… my best so far. Have had three long runs every Sunday: a 21K, the 25K from Capitol to Cordova with the Cebu Executive Runners Club, a 15K and my last 10K (Friendship Run) last Sunday,” he said. “This apart from my daily 7.5 to 10K run. The only difference now is that I run more outside than doing the treadmill. This has not only improved my speed but my stride as well.” Because of this regimen, Yong adds, “I’m down to 133 pounds my lightest since I got married.”

What’s their Chicago schedule? “I leave today and meet up with Peter in LA to board our connecting flight to Chicago. We arrive at 11:30 p.m. on Oct 9. On Friday, Oct. 10, we register and collect our bib numbers then, on Saturday, relax a bit, maybe do some shopping and move to a condo near the race. On Sunday, Oct. 12, race starts at 10 a.m. By Monday, I fly back home in the morning.”

If you think that’s a brutal schedule—it is. But Yong has always lived a fast-paced life—on and off the road. Of his time goal: “My best marathon time so far was in Hong Kong (4:19). I think I would have done much better without the bridges and tunnels. Because of this, elite runners have avoided this race. My goal is to beat that time. How I wish I could break four hours.”

As to their Chicago home, “We will be staying with one of my sister’s (Betty Veloso) friends, Nina Gomez. They will take us to and from the airport and race. The night before the race, we’ll transfer to the condo of prominent psychiatrist, Dr. Nick De Los Santos—the brother of Lahug Barangay Captain Mary Ann De Los Santos. They have offered the place for us to stay overnight before the race because of its close proximity.”

Next to Chicago, Yong was supposed to run Las Vegas—on Dec. 7, the day after one of boxing’s biggest nights. “Was planning to watch the Dela Hoya – Pacquiao fight with my wife (Donna Cruz). I actually booked plane tickets the day after it was announced. But we decided not to go after realizing the mismatch and the possibility of seeing our national treasure get seriously hurt.” Instead, Yong hopes, “We will register for the LA Marathon on March 1, 2009.”

Finally, I asked Yong the same question I asked Peter Mancao two days ago: Why the marathon?

“My family and friends would often wonder why I run marathons. They’d ask why anyone would torture himself by running 42 kilometers. Sometimes I ask myself the same question especially when running the last few agonizing miles of the marathon screaming in my head, “What am I doing here?”

“But one reason is to be physically fit. I see the marathon not as an end in itself. But rather the process of preparing for the marathon keeps me fit. I can work all day and not get stressed out. My stamina is amazing. I can also eat whatever I want without gaining weight. I have a more healthy lifestyle now because of running. I avoid late night outs and drinking since it would interfere with my training. I also take the marathon as a challenge. I feel that there’s something inspirational and noble about testing the limits of human endurance and of fighting against all odds.”