Patient Testimonials

William Durdin expresses his gratitude for Dr. Hooten and the care he received at Bennett Eye Institute.

Doctors and Staff of the Bennett Eye Institute…I want to THANK YOU and, let you know. how much I appreciate(d) your, Professionalism, Helpfulness and, Patience during my visit to the institute. Although, it was by chance I was referred to the institute, I consider myself very fortunate it happened! I look forward to my next visit to the institute.

Dr. Hooten, you were amazing! THANK You for assisting me with what I’m sure will be very good vision. On a side note…Thanks for the material I now have for my next Stand Up Gig! The Post Surgery walk through the Airport was priceless/TOOOO FUNNY!!
Thanks Again to all!! HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

PS: Not to bad for working with one eye!

Sean Gallagher shares how the team at Bennett Eye Institute provides an exceptional experience.

“Aloha Bennet Eye Institute: First off I want to say that if Dr Safi is not the greatest ophthalmologist in the world than I don’t know who is. but this missive is not about him…it is about Haydee at the front desk. She is amazing. She makes that place great. Even if she is dealing with patients who have been waiting two hours she makes them comfortable and keeps the Eye Institute humming. I hope you guys realize what a gem she is. it is not often you get to meet an employee who brings her “A” game everyday.”

Tiare Tiaturi explains how cataract surgery allowed her to dance hula again.

Lou Ayala is seeing 20/20 after cataract surgery at Bennett Eye Institute and shares his story.

Nancy Wood shares how Bennett Eye Institute saved her sight.

Betty Kam used to avoid driving because her vision was so poor. Now she is seeing a whole new life after cataract surgery with Bennett Eye Institute.

Mei Cope is thrilled with her vision after seeing the Retina team at Bennett Eye Institute.

Margaret Kojima explains why she was afraid of losing her sight, and why she credits Dr. Bennett for helping her.

Charlotte Richards Finn shares her heartfelt experience with her Lipiflow Treatment at Bennett Eye Institute.

Vision for a Visionary- Bob Parson’s Story,

If you have a website, registered a domain name or simply surf the internet from time to time, you probably know his company. Bob Parsons is CEO and founder of “Go Daddy”, the No. 1 domain registrar in the world.

Bob began his business in 1997 as Jomax Technologies. Soon realizing that this probably wasn’t going to be a household name, he had the vision to alter course, renaming his business “Go Daddy” in 1999. Bob’s business philosophy was simple, yet very challenging. He wanted to “create low-priced, feature-rich products and combine it with the highest-levels of customer service.” Obviously Bob is doing a whole lot right. Currently, “Go Daddy” has close to 9 million customers worldwide and registers a new domain every 0.8 seconds!

Bob Parsons

But like all of us, Bob is human. Try as we might to be superhuman and indestructible, sometimes our bodies don’t cooperate. Bob first came into our office one Saturday afternoon during a Hawaii vacation. Following a vigorous workout (Bob plays as hard as he works!) he began seeing flashes of light, followed by a curtain of darkness – classic symptoms of a retinal detachment that was threatening his central vision.

Fortunately he’d come to the right place. We immediately stabilized his central vision and began preparing his retinal detachment with a procedure we perform in our office. A few days later we moved Bob to the operating room and completed the repair.

Bob could have gone anywhere for vision care, but he chose Bennett Eye Institute.

Bob’s outlook on life is truly inspiring. When we first met in our office, rather than focusing on the danger of losing his vision, he immediately focused on improving it. He wanted to rebuild his retina “better than it was before” and worked with us to make that happen. Thanks to his attitude and our know how, Bob made a full recovery during the week following his surgery and was able to return home to Arizona.

Bob lives his life the same way he runs his business: Totally! Don’t tell him he cannot do something. He is constantly pushing the envelope, not only to achieve success in business, but to enjoy his life along the way. When I asked Bob his secret for success, he pointed me to his “16 Rules for Success in Business and Life in General.” You can find his rules online at

My personal favorite Bob quote is this: “We’re not here for a long time, we’re here for a good time.” A few months after his surgery, Bob invited us to his “” annual Christmas party. He was back to being his old ebullient self. Not only was he having the time of his life, he made sure that the rest of us were also having a great time..

Mahalo nui loa Bob.
We may have saved your vision, but you opened our eyes too!

The Sight to Fight- A Soldier’s Story

In 2005, while serving as a medic with the Army’s 25th Infantry Division, Timothy (TJ) Laynor was involved in a cave-clearing mission in Afghanistan. During this highly hazardous mission, there was an accident and the cave exploded, causing minor injuries to his right ear and right eye.

It wouldn’t be until TJ came back to Hawaii, where he was stationed, that an optometrist began to have concerns about injuries to his eye. She had noticed that his retina was heavily damaged in the periphery and was beginning to tear away from the eye wall. Without specialized procedures, it was a distinct possibility that TJ would not be able to continue living the active lifestyle that he loved. Surfing, mountaineering, snowboarding and also going on deployments with his unit would be things of the past. Immediately after seeing his optometrist, TJ was referred to Dr. Michael D. Bennett and Bennett Eye Institute.


TJ said, “When I first met Dr. Bennett, he wants to know all about you. What kind of person are you? What stuff do you like to do? What is your occupation? I didn’t hold back at all. I didn’t want my lifestyle to end. I wanted to continue to serve my country. I wanted to continue to surf and board. He told me to trust him and things would not change.”

Dr. Bennett explained a procedure he wanted to do for TJ that utilized silicone oil to hold the retina in place against the eye wall until it healed. Once the retina healed, his eye would be back to functioning again and TJ would be out surfing the North Shore of Oahu in no time. TJ went into surgery the next day, and within hours after the procedure was over, Bennet Eye Institute called to check on him and ask if there was anything he needed. This highly personal attention would continue to be the standard level of care and cemented a strong relationship from that point on between TJ and Bennett Eye Institute.

TJ expressed his experience this way, “Dr. Bennett’s office was one place that radiated comfort. I can’t tell you how much each and every staff member at Dr. Bennett’s office makes you feel as if you are the most important patient there.”

On the anniversary of 9/11 in 2006 TJ was able to save 35 patients injured from a car bomb attack because of Retina Institute of Hawaii and Dr. Bennett’s Care.

By 2006, TJ was looking to deploy once again, and it was because of Bennett Eye Institute and Dr. Bennett’s help that TJ was able to go overseas, run a very successful medical clini and save more than 700 soldiers’ lives during 2006-2007.

During his deployment, TJ was able to successfully treat 35 patients injured in a car bomb attack on the anniversary of 9/11 in 2006. All the patients who came into TJ’s clinic that day were evacuated and survived. To show his gratitude to Dr. Bennett for giving him the chance to help all of these people, TJ saved and carried (for close to a year) the flag that was flown over his clinic on the day of the attack. When he returned to Hawaii, he presented this flag and a plaque to Dr. Bennett, which now are proudly displayed in the BEI office. TJ said, “It was Dr. Bennett and his staff who allowed me to be there and help those people. I owe him and Retina Institute of Hawaii more than they will ever know.”

There was one other thing that TJ was able to do while on deployment, and that was meet a beautiful physician whom he married in 2009. “I would never have met my wife if Dr. Bennett had not fixed my eye,” he said.

Since TJ first walked into Dr. Bennett’s office a few years ago, he has not had any more problems with his retina and is now serving on his third deployment as the medical officer for a Stryker Brigade Combat Team. TJ also continues to be active every day, including surfing in the summer and snowboarding in the winter. Just recently, he summitted Mt. Rainer, at more than 14,000 feet, and now he is looking to travel to Mt. Everest when he gets back from Iraq.

Tiaturi, Tiare

It’s almost like I was born on the day of the surgery. This has definitely been life-changing for me.

Patient Photo - Tiaturi TiareHow long has Dr. Bennett been your eye care provider?

About 16 years; first came because my sight was very poor (had an blood vein occlusion prior to seeing him for the first time). My left eye was affected; I was nearly blind.

Other ophthalmologists told me I’d probably lose my sight. I was living in Kona at the time and had heard about Dr. Bennett’s clinic on Hualalai Road so I booked an appointment.

When I saw him, he assured me I was NOT going to lose my vision, and he was so positive about my keeping my eyesight, I believed him from the beginning. When I moved to O’ahu, I continued to see him at this clinic.

When did you folks first discuss your having cataract surgery?

A few years ago, I asked him if I was a candidate for it, and he said no. He wanted to make sure my retina was in stabilized and in good condition. He also said at that time, my cataracts were too small to require that surgery.

Recently the subject came up again in one of our visits, and he said yes, I was now a good candidate for cataract surgery.

What was it like for you up to the surgery day?

I had been wearing glasses for the past 40 years and always dreamt about getting rid of them, but deep down inside, I believed that was pretty far-fetched. But it has actually materialized thanks to Dr. Bennett and these surgeries!

My routine every day has been when I get up in the morning, the first thing I do is reach over to my night stand and get my glasses to put them on. I still do it because it was became so much of a habit, but then I remember I don’t need them anymore!

I came to my pre-op appointment and got last-minute instructions on when to stop eating and drinking the night before. I slept well that night and got up early and headed to the surgery center. Everyone here (RIH) and there (SCOP) has been so supportive, so professional and so careful.

When I saw Dr. Bennett in the pre-op room, I asked him, “Are you nervous?” He said, “Nope.” I joked with him, “Well, I am!” But I was joking with him, you know. The truth is he doesn’t even give you a chance to worry or be nervous about it. And after all the good things he has done for my vision since I first came here, the trust is so great, I waltzed in and out of that surgery without any worries at all. I just knew it would work out.

And it did. The operation took about 15 – 20 mins and it was pau. I felt a little pressure during the operation which I told him about, but it was nothing bad or uncomfortable.

…and your post-op appointments?

The day after the surgery, I came and saw Dr. Safi. When he removed the patch from my eye, I didn’t have any redness at all. And I felt so comfortable. My amazement was at how well I was able to see and how beautiful and sharp the colors were. It was a different world all around me. I remember saying, “This is one of the happiest days of my life.”

Dr. Bennett / the CAT surgery changed what I thought about the world around me. I was at home one day, looking for a pair of green pants that I always like to use. I went hunting through my closet and couldn’t find them, which made me take every pair of pants out of my closet and reading through tags and brand names. I came across the pants I was looking for, only to realize that they were not green; they were grey.

Now, I move about with so much more confidence. Even on stage, my motions are much more assured because I don’t have to worry where I’m stepping; I know because I can see. I can judge the distance between what I see and what is actually there.

I tell everybody about my surgery and how well I seen now. I brag all the time. I told my hula sisters, “The only downfall is now I can see ALL of my wrinkles, and I can see ALL of yours too!”

When I pay my dues every month for hula, I used to have to take out my glasses. Now I just take out my check book and begin writing! Oh, and the ocean views from my window at home. I chose that apartment because of the views, but only now do I really see how beautiful they really are!

Every day I am evolving, finding out things I couldn’t do before that I can do now.

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What our

Patients Say

"The service here is commendable. I feel very comfortable when I’m here, and there’s progress with my vision. Always good results. Nothing needs to be improved here."


"Well worth the 3-hr drive I made to get to my first appt. I told Dr. Safi I will follow him anywhere. He’s the best. I trust him; he’s an Army doctor, and they see worse things up at Tripler because of the military exposure. And he’s always in a good mood; helps put you at ease. I recommend you guys to everyone."


"It’s almost like I was born on the day of the surgery.  This has definitely been life-changing for me. Every day I am evolving, finding out things I couldn’t do before that I can do now."

Tiaturi T.

"My provider is beyond proficient. Not only is my provider professional, knowledgeable, and caring, but actually prays with you before surgical procedures. Nothing like knowing you are in the more than capable hands of two beings."

John B.

"Wonderful office and staff. Very professional, knowledgeable and a sincere demeanor with clients. I would highly recommend their services."

Alice W.
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Contact Us



Main Office Yacht Harbor Professional Center
1620 Ala Moana Boulevard
Suite 500
Honolulu, HI 96815
Tel: (808) 955-0255

Mary Savio Medical Plaza
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Aiea, HI 96701
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94-216 Farrington Highway
Suite B2-203
Waipahu, HI 96797
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Surgery Center of the Pacific
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Suite 420
Honolulu HI 96814
Tel: (808) 955-0255


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Tel: (808) 935-4456


Kahului Building
23 Paa Street
Kahului, HI 96732
Tel: (808) 877-8955