For Lisa Kellett, clear vision is something that could never be taken for granted. Troubled by severe short-sightedness and high astigmatism since she was born she has had to wear glasses since she was six and contact lenses since she was fifteen. Throughout her adult life, the problem worsened â€“ until she decided to do something about it. â€śI went to see my optician in March, and he recommended an advanced vision correction procedure called the phakic lens,â€ť says Lisa, who owns and runs her own pharmacy in Scarborough. â€śI had been told that my eyes were so poor that laser eye surgery wouldnâ€™t work and could be risky. But I was told that phakic lenses inserted inside my eyes could correct my severe prescription for short-sightedness and astigmatism and that it was a major breakthrough in eye surgery, so I decided to give it a go.â€ť
On the recommendation of her optician, Lisa booked an appointment with Mr. Milind Pande. Mr. Pande described the procedure, which is similar to a contact lens being gently inserted inside the eye. In July 2009, Lisa underwent phakic IOL surgery on both her eyes over a period of four weeks.
â€śAfter my first eye was operated on, I woke up with a patch over the eye,â€ť says Lisa. â€śAn hour later, I took it off and had perfect vision. For somebody who has suffered from severe short-sightedness and astigmatism all of my life, the difference was amazing and I got instant results.â€ť Four weeks later, Lisa had surgery on her other eye.
â€śWhen I woke up this time, I had perfect vision in both my eyes for the first time in my lifeâ€ť, she says. â€śI had 20/20 vision or even better. It was fantastic. Iâ€™ve not stopped smiling since I had it done and itâ€™s completely changed my life. I can now do things I couldnâ€™t do before and my confidence has soared.â€ť As an active person, Lisa is always on the go. She regularly goes running and horse riding, but she wanted more. She wanted to enjoy adventure holidays and try different things, but she always felt her eyes were holding her back. â€śI didnâ€™t have any confidence in my eyesight. Now Iâ€™m no longer thinking I canâ€™t do something because I might lose my contact lenses or my glasses,â€ť she says.
â€śI donâ€™t need them anymore, and Iâ€™ve started to realise just how much of a disability being short-sighted was. Itâ€™s a big relief not to have to think about it anymore, and Iâ€™m now looking forward to horse riding across the Andes and trekking through the Amazon next year.â€ť
The reason given by almost all vision correction surgery patients for undergoing surgery is the wish to have a better quality of life â€“ they want to feel better, see better and live better. Lisa says that is exactly what she has got thanks to this procedure.
â€śIf other people are thinking of having this done, I would recommend it. Mr Pande was fantastic. He helps to put you at your ease and make you relax. He explained everything really well and told me everything I wanted to know. He was also a genuinely nice person, and I felt I could talk to him and trust him.â€ť
If you are thinking of having vision correction surgery, you need to make sure you choose the best option for your particular circumstances. Many patients are not suitable for laser surgery and there are safe and effective alternatives that may prove a better option.