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Should I be worried about cataract surgery?

(9 Posts)
Fiona2011231 Thu 23-Jul-15 10:27:55

Hi everyone,

Could you pls advise me about this issue?

In an eye test, my mother was found to have the cataract problem in her right eyes. It was recommended that she is receiving a surgery.

However, I read that the operation carried a one-in-1,000 risk of severe and permanent sight loss.

Should we be worried about the risk?

My sincere thanks,

Fiona2011231 Thu 23-Jul-15 11:11:32

To provide more info, I read this article on the Guardian and became very worried:

"The multibillion-pound corrective eye surgery industry has been thrust into the spotlight as regulators announced they were investigating claims that a new artificial lens implanted into the eyes of thousands of patients had caused serious loss of vision.

Officials have launched their inquiry after a number of concerned surgeons submitted testimony that patients had complained of defective vision, with some, according to one doctor, struggling to see clearly beyond the outstretched length of their arms.

Around 120,000 people seeking a life without glasses undergo corrective eye surgery every year either by laser or, often in the case of the over-50s, through the replacement of their natural lenses through surgery.

It is believed that over the last year many thousands were fitted with the Mplus X lens in a boom time for the industry fuelled by marketing and the promise of interest-free credit on bills, which can be in excess of £3,000 an eye.

The lens in question, manufactured by German company Oculentis and introduced into the UK last January, was supposed to offer an improved performance on previous models.

The Observer has learned, however, that Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Trust, the largest ophthalmic centre in Europe, submitted an official report about the lens after four of its six patients who had had the implant reported a worrying loss of quality of vision."

www.theguardian.com/society/2015/jan/03/top-eye-clinic-faces-claims

specialsubject Fri 24-Jul-15 11:45:51

all operations carry a risk, that's life. But if she doesn't have the cloudy lens removed, the brain will stop bothering with the signals from the eye (such as they are) and so she will definitely lose the use of that eye. So it is rather a no-brainer!

the article you are reading refers to those having lens replacement not because there is a cataract, but because they don't want to wear glasses.

be grateful for the chance of cataract surgery; so many on the planet are blind because they don't have that chance.

the surgery is done under local anaesthetic. Your mother will need to take it easy for some time afterwards, sleep with an eye shield on for a week and put drops in for a month.

and drive carefully on the way to the hospital. You've a much higher than a 1 in 1000 chance of a crash.

DayLillie Fri 24-Jul-15 12:08:23

Cataract surgery has changed beyond recognition from when my grandmother had it in the 1970s. Then, you had to be at the stage of registered blind before they did it and it involved sitting around in a darkened hospital room for over 2 weeks, wraparound plastic dark glasses and eye patches and minced up liquid diet for a long time afterwards. She then needed three different pairs of glasses (reading, distance, and middle distance), all like jam jar bottoms.

My husband's grandfather had it done at 89, my mother had it done about 10 years ago. It was day surgery, required a patch for a couple of days and the results were immediate. All she could not do was bend down and lift heavy objects for 6 weeks or anything that might have introduced infection. (Not that she took much notice of this after the first week or so hmm ). All she needed was a pair of reading glasses from the chemists. I also know someone who had it done in their 40s. It is a no brainer.

The only problems is the idea of having it done with a local anaesthetic. My mother is the biggest wimp ever about this sort of thing, but she was desperate enough not to end up like her mother, and went and it turned out to be not in the least bit scary at all smile

PoshPenny Fri 24-Jul-15 15:20:10

My father (90) had both his eyes done in April this year. He opted to go private because having finally made the decision to do it, he didn't want to wait a minute longer than he had to. Everything went really well, I think there was a 2 week gap between the eyes being done. All on day surgery, he went to and from the hospital by taxi, all included in the cost of the operation. He is so pleased he had it done, he now realises how bad his sight had got. No problems at all, I think the most frustrating thing for him was having to wait afterwards for I think it was 4 weeks before he could get proper new glasses sorted. I do remember him borrowing my husbands reading glasses to read the menu at his 90th birthday meal. Nothing that was insurmountable at any rate.

Fiona2011231 Sat 25-Jul-15 14:19:47

Thank you very much for your kind replies. May I ask if anyone here has used the Phacoemulsification. Apparently it is currently the most advanced technique for cataract removal.

specialsubject Sat 25-Jul-15 15:04:52

it is the standard NHS technique. Are you in the UK?

Fiona2011231 Tue 28-Jul-15 14:18:48

To specialsubject: Thank you. I was mistaken about phacoemulsification. What I meant was the femtosecond laser for cataract surgery. Not every surgeon uses this technique.

specialsubject Tue 28-Jul-15 18:00:43

you'll need to shop around; if you are in the UK and use the NHS you get what you are given, the technique considered best proven and safest for the largest number of people.

otherwise can comment no further as know no more!

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