ubuysa will be away


I'm not actually banned from the PC but my ophthalmologist doesn't want me spending more than about 20 minutes a day on it. A few people have questions, which I'll happily answer since I've had cataract surgery on both eyes now.

Both were done with a local anaesthetic, via drops into the eye. There is no pain at all, although occasionally there is a slight pushing sensation in the side of the eye.

You don't see any of the surgery at all, no instruments and nothing comes looming at your eye. The surgery is done in the side of the eye so you can't see it at all.

What you can see is a bright white light, which they use to illuminate your eye so the surgeon can see what they're doing. It's a bright light, made even brighter because in pre-op they put drops in your eye to dilate the pupil to its maximum so the surgeon can see into your eye. Plus, there is a painless clamp holding your eye wide open. Thus you cannot get away from the light. That's probably the worst aspect of cataract surgery - staring at that darned light.

At first you can see the light itself, I could see the diffuser on the front of the light for example. Then the surgeon makes a painless cut in the side of your eye and in the pocket inside your eye that holds the lens in place. Next they break up the gell-like lens and flush it, and the cataract, out with a liquid. You can kind of see this, I was aware of things moving in my vision but you can't focus on anything of course.

Once the old lens is gone you can't focus on anything, so all you see in that eye is whiteness, nothing but whiteness. I could no longer see the diffuser on the light for example, nor the light itself, everything was just white.

Then they flush the lens pocket with a liquid to be certain that every bit of the old lens is gone. Again I could sense movement in the whiteness but I couldn't see the liquid of course.

Next they inject a clear gell to expand the pocket to make it easier to insert the new lens. I could see the gell moving. I thought it was the new lens and said so, but my surgeon told me it was just a gell.

Then they insert the new lens - it's sized in a series of tests they do a few days before the surgery. That's like magic, because suddenly you can see the light itself again instead of just whiteness. I could see the diffuser on the light again for example. The surgeon spent a few minutes making sure that the new lens was in exactly the right place.

And that's pretty much it. They was some minor procedures after the lens went in, I guess sealing the hole in your eye. They took me back upstairs in a wheelchair and I rested for 30 minutes and then walked home.

I had a check up at the hospital the next day to make sure all was well, and it was. I'm now on a decreasing regime of drops, mostly to ease any swelling and prevent any infection. I have reasonable vision in that eye already but things are still a bit blurry, that's because the eye is swollen slightly. In 5 weeks I go back for a check-up, my ophthalmic surgeon is pretty sure I'll have normal vision from that eye then, though sometimes it can take longer. It took 6 weeks for me left eye to fully settle.

Then I should have normal distance vision but I will need reading glasses, the new lens is solid and cannot change focal length like the natural one can. Until the pocket fully heals around the lens and holds it firmly in place (which takes about 10 days) I can't lift anything or strain myself and, most importantly, I must not rub that eye.

Cataract surgery is nothing to be concerned about, if you need it then get it done. It makes a huge difference to your vision. The surgery itself isn't exactly pleasant (that damned light) but it's not scary and not painful. The recovery is long but not difficult, although you quickly get fed up of putting one or other drops in your eye every few hours.

I hope that answers everyone's questions. And that's used up my 20 minutes for today!
Glad to hear it went well& wishing you a speedy recovery