Meet Dr. Ganser

February 15, 2017

Dr. Gail L. Ganser of Piedmont Eye CenterThe third installment in our “Meet the Doctors” series is Dr. Gail Ganser. Dr. Ganser is Lynchburg’s only pediatric ophthalmologist and also specializes in neuro ophthalmology. She completed her extensive training at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute and received further specialty training in pediatric ophthalmology at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. In addition to pediatric and neuro-ophthalmology, she also provides Botox® cosmetic treatment to patients.  Dr. Ganser is board certified with the American Board of Ophthalmology.

What made you want to become an ophthalmologist?

Dr. Ganser: Ophthalmology was my favorite rotation in medical school. I have always been fascinated with how the eye works, such as, how rays of light are converted into a visual experience for us. I always wanted to learn more about that process and help people with difficulties with their vision.

What brought you to Piedmont Eye Center?

Dr. Ganser: I went to medical school at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. At that time I fell in love with the Southeast and decided I wanted to stay in this part of the country. Working at Piedmont Eye Center is a perfect fit for me and my interests. I get to see children and practice pediatric ophthalmology, as well as my other specialties of neuro ophthalmology and general ophthalmology.

Why did you choose your subspecialties?

Dr. Ganser: With pediatric ophthalmology I get to work with the beginning of life. The visual system is naturally developing at that age. If something goes wrong, it can happen at one specific point in the process, which I can identify. I often see myself as providing a missing link if a child develops a problem during their vision development. It could be by performing surgery, prescribing glasses, or recommending patching. When I am done the brain picks back up and development can proceed on its own.

Neuro ophthalmology is very different than pediatric ophthalmology. Usually my patients are older, and many have unknown causes of vision loss. I compare it to solving a puzzle and I really like the challenge. The specialty involves listening to the patient and their symptoms, doing the exam, and usually ordering further testing such as brain imaging and bloodwork. It can be a long process. In the end it is really rewarding to come up with an answer.

What is the most common misconception about what you do?

Dr. Ganser: The most common misconception is that a pediatric ophthalmologist cannot do a good eye examination on a young child. I am able to provide as thorough an exam on a baby as I can with an adult. A young child does not speak, but I can check the vision using different techniques than what I would for an adult. The rest of the eye exam can also be done without the baby’s participation, even including prescribing glasses.

What is the most rewarding aspect of your job?

Dr. Ganser: The most rewarding part is connecting with my patients by getting to know them and their families. I like to listen to my patients and this leads me to their diagnosis. They say it in layman’s terms and my job is to say it in doctor’s terms. One thing I really like is helping a small child, say a toddler, who is not interacting well with their environment and not meeting their developmental milestones. I provide a treatment such as glasses or surgery. Once my part is over, it opens a whole new world for that patient. I feel like I am turning their life around with the help of their family.

What is one thing you wish every patient knew?

Dr. Ganser: I wish that patients knew that doctors have a lot in common with patients. I think my basic goals, core values, struggles, and challenges in life are the same as my patients. Also, different doctors have different personalities. We are not one size fits all. Finally, I would like my patients to understand that I really enjoy partnering with them. I do not see it as I am in charge and the patients just follows instructions. I believe we are partners in the process of solving their eye condition.

What do you like to do in your downtime?

Dr. Ganser: I am a busy mom of three children, ages 11 to 15. So, I enjoy spending time with my family. When I have time I like to bake, garden, read, and go skiing.

What Our Patients Think

  • Riley Hart /
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    I couldn't recommend a better doctor, a better facility, and I'm so glad I did it.
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    Brenda Edson /
    "I could not have asked for a better experience at Piedmont Eye Center. From my very first visit, the staff was friendly, knowledgeable, and genuinely interested in me."
  • Bobby Moore /
    "I wish I would have done it many years ago now."
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    Bryan Mitchell / ANALYST
    "My vision was the best it had been since I was a teen. I had my LASIK surgery performed almost 2 years ago, and it is as good today as it was then."
  • Caroline Trexler /
    "They ensured that the entire process from preliminary appointments to follow up visits went seamlessly – the perfect team that gave me perfect vision."
    "All and all, this has been a very pleasant and beneficial period for me. I recommend it highly for anyone in a similar situation.'
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    Cynthia /
    "I feel almost like a new person It’s a wonderful feeling to wake up in the morning and be able to actually see across the room without fumbling for my glasses. "
  • Frances / RETIRED
    "Dr. Ceballos has always been very positive, clarifying everything medically, never leaving me in doubt and has always made me feel special and important."
  • Guy / RETIRED
    "The procedure was painless, and now I’m happy to say I only wear glasses to read. I have 20/20 vision in my left eye and 20/25 in my right. "
  • Janice Bloom standing in front of a tree
    "Dr. Bowers and his staff treated me with the utmost in professional care, making sure I was comfortable throughout the entire process."
  • Barbara / RETIRED
    "The procedure was pain free and I am so pleased with the results. It was money well spent and it is unbelievable how clear and colorful everything is. I want to tell Dr. Bowers and his staff how grateful I am."
  • Jerome / RETIRED
    "Doctor Vogel has treated me professionally as has his staff. They have been caring and have answered my questions to my satisfaction."
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    Jon Dupin / PASTOR
    "LASIK is not just a medical advancement to me; it’s a miracle"
  • Josh Brewer / HUMANITARIAN AID
    "Because of Dr. Bowers and his team at Piedmont Eye Center, my everyday life is now a whole lot easier. "
  • Judy Bowman / MISSIONARY
    "My experience of having Laser Vision Correction was fantastic. Dr. Bowers and all his staff are so knowledgeable and professional, yet very personal, warm, caring, and friendly."
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    Lucy /
    "Dr. Bowers and his team were very comforting. The next morning, I opened my eyes and was able to see the alarm clock across the room, which I was never able to see before. It was a miracle!"
  • Martha Ann / GRANDMOTHER
    "It is a wonderful feeling to have no RX lenses. I want to thank Dr. Bowers and the Surgery Center for the freedom I feel.”
  • Monica Shelton / Featured Patient
    "Everyone told me what they were going to be doing to me and what to expect every step of the way. My experience with Piedmont Eye Center and Dr. Bowers and the whole LASIK team was awesome!"
  • Adelia / RETIRED
    "God led me to Dr. Vogel. He is absolutely the most wonderful doctor in the world. Not only is he a great doctor, he is a great ‘people person’. You always feel safe with him."
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    Penny Abbott / Financial Consultant
    "From the great staff who helped me, to the simplicity of setting up my flexible spending account, to my complete satisfaction and enjoyment of having clear sight, this has been an easy process."
    "The staff at Piedmont eased my nerves and the procedure was swift and smooth."
  • Sue Earsing and lasik eye surgery
    "I have always seen the world through glasses or contacts, so the sharpness of vision I have now was never there before."
    “Dr. Bowers not only met my expectations, he surpassed them. I had no idea that vision like this was possible. I no longer struggle in the shadows of a course- everything is clearer.”
  • Troy Doss
    "Piedmont Eye Center takes care of the little things to make LASIK a comfortable process."
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