Cataract surgery - patient story

“An amazing difference” to life following cataract surgery

Ivan Beswarick at St George's Eye Care reception.

Ivan Beswarick didn’t notice how bad his eyesight was getting until he found himself struggling to read the paper and look up numbers in the phone book.

“It creeps up on you. You might be aware that your eyesight is deteriorating, but then you suddenly realise you can’t read a street sign until you’re right underneath it,” he says.

The Timaru resident had cataract surgery on both eyes with St George’s Eye Care consultant opthalmologist and clinical director, Dr Paul Baddeley, in December 2017 and February 2018.

“I was struggling to read the newspaper even with glasses on and driving at night was getting pretty difficult, so I stopped doing it,” Mr Beswarick says.

He also began to lose confidence with driving during the day. Then a friend, who had also had cataract surgery with Dr Baddeley at St George’s, persuaded him to make the appointment.

The decision to have cataract surgery at St George’s was an easy one.

“When I realised how far my eyesight had deteriorated, I knew I didn’t have time to sit on a waiting list. Once I’d made the decision to have cataract surgery, I wanted to do it as soon as possible before I couldn’t read or drive at all,” says Mr Beswarick.

“I was a little sceptical at first and I was questioning whether it would be worth it. But after having just one eye done, the result was amazing.”

Mr Beswarick is now enjoying 20/20 vision and often has to remind himself of just how significant the improvement to his eyesight has been.

“I’ve got my confidence back with driving and I can do so many other everyday things easily without glasses. It feels normal now, but every so often I’ll find myself doing something that I couldn’t do without glasses before, and that’s when it really hits home just how much my vision has improved,” he says.

Cataracts, which cloud the lens in the eye and affect vision, are usually related to ageing but can also develop in younger people. Factors including diabetes, smoking, eye injuries and prolonged sun exposure can also increase the risk of developing cataracts.

Cataract surgery is a complex procedure that in skilled hands has a very high success rate. The operation is usually done in day surgery under topical anaesthetic and can take as little as 10 minutes per eye.

The team of two specialists at St George’s Eye Care has wide experience in cataract surgery, having performed thousands of successful operations.

Dr Baddeley, who has a special interest in cataract surgery, leads a team of highly skilled opthalmologists and support staff at St George’s Eye Care. Innovations including injectable intraocular lens technology, which allows smaller incisions, are used routinely in procedures.

St George’s Eye Care is also the first private hospital to employ a full-time, dedicated ophthalmologist and offers patients a comfortable, purpose-built environment, says Dr Baddeley.

“We’re proud of our state-of-the-art facility, which was purpose built with patient care and comfort in mind. Patients often tell us they really appreciate the way we give them a full understanding of their condition, through plenty of interaction time with our specialists. We’re often able to deliver our service at a lower cost than others in the market.”

The St George’s Eye Care specialist team has recently been expanded, with the appointment of consultant ophthalmologist Dr Oliver Comyn, who joins the team from London, England.

Dr. Comyn specialises in the medical and surgical treatment of retinal diseases and has been involved in two clinical trials for patients with diabetic eye disease, bringing a valuable skill set to the team.

Mr Beswarick says his overall experience with St George’s Eye Care was “fantastic”.

“The whole team were great to deal with and I got on very well with everyone. For anyone thinking of having their cataracts done, I thoroughly recommend St George’s. They make you feel special, put your apprehensions to rest and they’re extremely friendly and helpful.”

For more information or to book a consultation, call 03 375 6333


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