Monday, August 13, 2012
I am a very fortunate person..
The eye doctor told me I have a cataract that is bad enough to need surgery, and gave me a referral to the local 'go-to' center for cataract surgery.
I am a very lucky person.
I have a very good optometrist. She is sending me to our local [and cutting edge] opthalmologist center. The surgery is done on an outpatient basis, takes about 20 minutes, then they send me home to recover.
"Cataract surgery is considered one of the safest surgical procedures performed today. Recent advances in technology and technique have made it gentler and more reliable than ever. Cataract surgery can be completed on an outpatient basis in about 15-20 minutes. Recovery from surgery is often accomplished in a short period of time, depending on the health of the eye at the time of surgery. All cataract surgery is not created equal. The surgeons at the Parschauer Eye Center utilize a highly sophisticated cataract surgery technique that usually requires no-needles, no-stitches, no-patch and no post-operative drops. We are one of few practices nationwide that has streamlined these advances into one technique. We believe that by simplifying the cataract surgery, our patients are happier, achieve better results, and have a faster recovery."
I could have been born in the 5th century BC, when the first form of cataract operation was performed:
"...known as “couching”. This method consisted of dislocating the cataractous lens, moving it away from the pupil, and letting it sit in the vitreous cavity towards the rear of the eye. Unfortunately, due to the absence of corrective lenses, images still appeared blurry for the patient. Diggings in countries such as Iran, Greece, and Egypt, have allowed scientists to discover the utensils that ancient doctors would have used when performing cataract surgeries. It has been revealed that in 29 A.D., a method called “needling” or “discussion” was used in De Medicinae. This procedure slices the cataract into multiple particles, allowing for them to be easily absorbed."
or even as late as the 1950's, I would have faced this sort of treatment:
"In 1951, I traveled to Japan to examine the survivors of the atomic bomb for radiation effects on the eyes. I visited the Red Cross hospital in Hiroshima where ophthalmologists were performing extracapsular cataract extraction on mature cataracts under topical anesthesia (cocaine drops). Surgeons created a 180° corneal section, stripped off the anterior capsule with a toothed forceps, expressed the nucleus, washed out the cortex, and then replaced the cornea. No sutures were used. Both of the patient's eyes were covered (Figure 1), and he had to lie flat on his back, without bathroom privileges, for 10 days. The complication rates were horrendous."
So, I go tomorrow for per-surgery evaluation, which will take longer than the surgery will. I'll come home right after the surgery, no 10 days in bed flat on my back. My brother just had both eyes done [not at the same time, the doctors are still cautious] and was driving two days later.
I only need one eye done for now. I'm sure that by the time the 2nd eye needs done, the procedure will be even faster and easier than now. Maybe little nanobots that are injected in, and create a new lens from the material in the old one?