The gift of sight

Patients are enjoying a brighter future, thanks to the latest in sight-enhancing technology and the best medical attention

Millions of British people can look forward to a lifetime of better sight, thanks to a revolutionary treatment – just launched in the UK – that offers safer, more accurate and less invasive treatment for cataracts.

For many years, cataracts have been seen as an unavoidable and unpleasant side effect of ageing. Current techniques for cataract removal, which centre on high frequency ultrasound to achieve phacoemulsification, nevertheless require a 3mm incision with a blade, before the cataract is broken up.

Where the London Eye Hospital, on Harley Street, differs from this treatment is in the microscopic detail of the procedure. Using a FemtoSecond cataract laser, surgeons create a 3D model of the eye at close to micron levels of accuracy. Laser pulses that last one quadrillionth of a second then dissolve the cataract and also create a tiny incision through which to remove it all without a needle or blade or any discomfort.

Mr Qureshi, right, uses the latest technology to treat cataracts

This new approach to cataract surgery – called FemtoSecond Laser Cataract Surgery – also reduces the risk of complications such as damage to the fine membrane surrounding the lens and also the risk of infection, meaning this new procedure represents a huge increase in safety and reduces the risks of surgery even further. Mr Bobby Qureshi became the first surgeon in the UK to use a FemtoSecond laser for cataract surgery in August 2016 and is the most experienced laser cataract surgeon in the UK.

The patient view

Patricia Paul had light adjustable lens surgery at the London Eye Hospital and was delighted by the results. The procedure was performed by Bobby Qureshi, consultant ophthalmic surgeon and medical director at the hospital.

“Not only was my procedure a complete success, but Mr Qureshi was an absolute pleasure to work with,” she says. “He always took the time to explain everything, and was never in a rush. I now have the best vision that I’ve ever had. It’s amazing how sharp and colourful everything looks.”

At the age of 10, Philip Scarisbrick was diagnosed short-sighted and started wearing glasses. Forty years later, he had light adjustable lens surgery and – as if by magic – his sight has been restored.

“It really has transformed my life,” he says at his home in Ashtead, Surrey.

“Once I’d had the operation, I could drive around without glasses, go into a restaurant and order from the menu. This was never possible before.”

“I can understand people’s anxiety over having an operation on their eyes, but it was very straightforward,” he adds. “It only lasted about 20 minutes; I was conscious throughout and was able to leave soon afterwards.”

After surgery the vision can be sharper using just a computer and shining a light at the lens to achieve the best vision possible without glasses.

The service provided by the London Eye Hospital and the surgeon Mr Qureshi was exemplary, according to Philip Scarisbrick. “He always had time for me and would explain everything that was going to happen. He was very detailed and thorough, but you never felt he was in any rush: he went through the process in as much time as you needed.”

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