WHAT REALLY HAPPENED?
The big day
I kept myself busy before the operations and remained pretty calm about the whole thing. After all, the only thing I really had to do was turn up. However, there’s no denying that it was daunting and after all the ‘pre-flight checks’ took place on the morning of the surgeries, I was feeling a mix of nervousness, worry, uncertainty and excitement.
Even though I’d been told about the practicalities of the procedure, It was difficult to know what to expect.
The operations, which would replace my natural lenses with fixed ones had the potential to leave me with corrected vision, but would cause me to lose my natural powers of accommodation (which allow you to focus on both short and long distances.) I also had to be mindful of the risks; namely of infection, retinal detachment, glaucoma and loss of vision.
Under GA, I underwent a lensectomy (removal of the natural lens), a vitrectomy (removal of the vitreous jel from the eye) and had an iris clip Artisan (new artificial lens) fixed to the posterior surface of the iris. The back of the retina (left eye only) was also lasered to create scar tissue which reduces the risk of retinal detachment and stitches were put in place to close the wound. This procedure differs from LASIK (laser) surgery, during which the cornea is reshaped.
Left eye operated on 06/11/14
Right eye operated on 20/01/15
I was required to stay overnight after both of the operations and in the morning after (and not much sleep) the nurse came to remove my dressing. This was pretty uncomfortable. My eye was weeping, swollen and it was especially sore around the stitches. After the first operation, on my own at 5.30am in the hospital, the state of my eye was a bit of shock.
Although obvious now, and expected considering the trauma, I hadn’t really thought about how distressed it would look. Me and my blood-weeping eye would have been perfectly cast in Casino Royale.
Seeing blood and feeling pain in your eye is, I think, one of the most difficult places to deal with trauma. However, this was definitely easier second time round. Although I was more nervous before the second operation, I knew what to expect and I was relieved that I didn’t have to go through it again.
More detail in the diary.
The views expressed here are my own and are not intended to represent those of any medical body or authority.