Sunday, November 20, 2011

Cataract Surgery-my experience

 In January 2011, I was diagnosed with cataract in both my eyes. I had thought of going for surgery in April, but something or other kept coming up , so I was not able to go for the operation at that time.
I don't know about other counties, but in India, people give you quite a lot of free advice.....even when they don't have any knowledge about the problem !
This time some of them were to consult different doctors. ( well, I don't see any problem there...if you have lots of money to spend & the respective doctor is an opthamologist ! ) one of them advised me not to go for any surgery ( 'we should not meddle with the nature!!  '), the other asked me about the cost of the surgery ; when I told him that it would depend upon the lens I select ; he asked me why I want to change my lens, I should only go for cataract surgery ! ( I don't blame him, lots of people here don't know what cataract is. )
I came across some physicians who are my clients, but don't know about the different lenses used in cataract surgery.
I thought...why not write about it !
So here we go...
What is a cataract ?
A cataract is a clouding that develops in the crystalline lens of the eye or in its envelope, varying in degree from slight to complete opacity and obstructing the passage of light. Early in the development of age-related cataract, the power of the lens may be increased, causing near-sightedness (myopia), and the gradual yellowing and opacification of the lens may reduce the perception of blue colours. Cataracts typically progress slowly to cause vision loss, and are potentially blinding if untreated. 

Age-related cataract is responsible for 48% of world blindness, which represents about 18 million people, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
During cataract surgery, a patient's cloudy natural lens is removed and replaced with a synthetic lens to restore the lens's transparency.
Source: Wikipedia

I had been wearing glasses for the last 51 years & contact lenses for the last 35 years. 
Before the cataract surgery my eyeglass prescripion was something like...

                              Sphere                   CYL                AXIS
Right Eye          -11.50                    -2.00                  10  
Left Eye            -14.00                    -1.75                 175

As you can see from above figures...I was almost blind without my glasses or lenses & I have cylindrical number too. After discussing with my opthamologist & taking a topography test ( a bit painful ) I selected Toric lenses for my eyes to correct my cylindrical numbers too, but after inquiring the doctor told me that the company does not make Toric lenses in such a high power, so I had to settle for simple ones. 
By the way, those advisers kept on advising me to go to other doctors as the one I was consulting, charged too much but I did not listen to them, as he is the best in our city. ( & at a walking distance from my house...though that was not the reason, I chose him. ) Do you smell an advice here ? hmmm...maybe...after all....I am also an Indian !
Jokes apart...recently I have seen so many cases of losing vision after cataract surgery, I was scared to select anything but the best.
What to expect while going for a cataract surgery ? 
I had my first surgery on August 11 for the left eye.  (it was my birthday, so I got lots of birthday & get well wishes together ! ) 
They called me at 8.15 in the morning at the hospital. As soon as I reached there, they started putting lots of drops into my eye...even as a local anesthesia , they put drops into my eye. ( I was lucky not to be injected according to my sister ) 
The operation table was small in width. I told them that I would fall down from it & they laughed. Then they tied my hands..well, not exactly tied, but they put some stands over them, so I would not move them during the surgery. I asked them what they were for & the assistant doctor replied, " so you would not run away ! "
They covered my other eye with a cloth & put a soft spring between my lids in the eye, which was to be operated to stop me blinking...a little painful.  The operation itself took around 15 minutes, but was a bit ( did I say ' a bit' ? )  painful...or should I say, discomfortable...besides the surgeon kept asking me to keep looking at a light whole time ! That was quite stressful ! & even when my lens was being sucked out, he asked me to remember & look at the spot where the light was in the total darkness when I lost my vision ! Only thing I liked during the operation, was the sound 'beep, beep ' of some machine. It was quite soothing for the mind !  
I was real glad, when the surgeon said, "your operation is over, thanks for your cooperation." !
But the real reward was waiting for me when I was lead outside the operation theater. 
Coming out from the OT....Ho ! I could see with the operated eye without my glasses ! My vision was improved....improved a lot !!
The nurse put some drops into my eyes, cleaned my face, removed the syringe they had inserted in my hand for emergency , put dark glasses over my eyes & asked me, what I would like to have-tea, coffee, milk...then they told me that I could go home after paying my bill.
I was home by 10.30 in the morning.
Taking care after surgery   
Before surgery, I was given written instructions by the hospital...not to sleep on the side of the operated eye for three days, not to cook for four days, not to take head bath for four days, not to wash my face for four days... etc.   
I had been advised by people too not to take head bath for 15 days, a client of mine even advised me not to take head bath for one & a half month ! He had lost vision in one eye after the cataract surgery after taking a walk in the rain.
So I was quite scared & decided to follow the doctor's advice very strictly....without listening to other people's advice.
Next day, the doctor told me that I was doing good after the check-up & asked me to come after four days for next check-up. 
After four days ( on the fifth day ) , I was allowed to wash my face, take head bath with closed eyes & sleep on both sides. He also allowed me to cook.
He then asked me to come for next check-up after ten days; but before that I decided to go for the surgery in my right eye as I was finding it quite difficult to see....with one eye having almost clear vision & the other having 11.50 number !
So I was operated in my right eye on August, 24.
After 15 days of the surgery in my right eye, they called me for a full check-up.
Here is my eyeglass prescription..

So after wearing glasses for 51 years, I am now 'almost' free of them !


M.B. said...

my god very scary experience but you kept the humor up, its painful though.

V. Khawani said...

Thanks, M.B...
Yes, it was painful, but the reward is too good !

illusions said...

very informative vimi di. i wasnt aware of the procedure too.. thanks for the info :)

V. Khawani said...

Thanks for your comment :)

Sangeeta said...

First of all, congratulations on blogging again. Welcome back :) Thanks for such a well-written and informative blog on cataracts :))

Sangeeta said...

Btw, forgot to mention - beautiful blog - colours, background, font colours, page layout - everything :) Wish my blog was nice and tidy like this.

Mithu said...

Thanks for sharing your experience. I am glad you had to courage to opt for surgery. Reading your blog will help others decide on their choice.

V. Khawani said...

thanks everyone..for the lovely comments :)

sunil deepak said...

"not taking head bath ofr 15 gays" must be tough, how to get hold of so many gays!! Sorry for the bad joke on your typo but thanks for sharing - gives me an idea of what to expect, just in case ..

debajyoti said...

that was quite informative. thanx for sharing.

V. Khawani said...

lol @ Sunil :)) did not notice it ! thanks for letting me know :) btw, check your comment too :) & of course... all the best....(just in case)
thanks Debajyoti :)

Anonymous said...

Did you know that there is a product called Cataract Terminator that eliminates cataracts simply by placing a solution of N-Acetyl-L-Carnosine on the lens? This amino acid chelates (binds) with the Advanced Glycation Endproducts (AGEs) which we call cataracts. The combination is then expelled from the eye. This method of getting rid of cataracts was developed by the Helmholz Eye Research Institute in Moscow just a few years ago, but seems to be almost unknown in the west.

james said...

this is really very helpful article. I go through this site really very nice information.thank for sharing such a nice information.

Studying Cataracts said...

Great post! Been reading a lot about this surgery. Thanks for sharing!

maddy madhav said...

Great experience!! Thank you so much for sharing your experience..These kind of successful stories will be helpful for those who want undergo surgery..Keep on update your blog..
Cataract laser sugery

peter son said...

Great experience!! Thanks for sharing which will helpful for those who are planning to undergo Cataract eye surgery.

Actually Cataract affects both the eyes, but there is higher chances that one eye may be more affected than the other. As the cataract signs will not be evident, the person may not be aware of it. However, one of the common symptoms is that you may have foggy vision. Also, driving at night would not be possible for you as headlights may seem glaring.

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