Barbara Fawcett 2012

For Barbara Fawcett, 65, a retired head-teacher from Beverley, the transformation after surgery was almost indescribable. Barbara had worn glasses since the age of 7 and started wearing contact lenses at the age of 22. She described herself as “the best kind of contact lens wearer”, and never had any problems with them.

However, over a period of six months or so she had noticed a change in her sight, and she no longer enjoyed reading or sewing as a direct result of this. After being diagnosed as having cataracts, Barbara was referred to Mr. Milind Pande here at the Vision Surgery & Research Centre, and her journey towards better vision was underway. “My eyesight was terrible,” said Barbara. “I was told I was in the bottom one per cent for eyesight, with 16 dioptres of myopia in my left and 7 degrees in my right.”

During her consultation, Mr. Pande revealed that laser surgery would not be an option, so she would have to have advanced refractive cataract surgery wherein her own lenses were removed and replaced as well as having corrective vision surgery at the same time. Barbara said: “Two of my friends have had this surgery; one from Hull had the same procedure with Mr. Pande. His reputation is excellent so I didn’t feel I needed to worry.”

After wearing contact lenses for most of her life, Barbara had to wear glasses for a month, prior to her consultation, to allow her eyes to be restored to their normal shape. Mr. Pande then took the measurements, and a couple of weeks later her first eye surgery was scheduled. There was a gap of just a few weeks before the second eye operation was booked. “On each occasion the entire process was completed within half a day,” Barbara said. “I went in at 12.30pm and was home by early evening. You have to wear an eye shield for that first night, but I could already see much better. The next morning it was truly amazing – beyond description. I had been so short-sighted for my entire life – it really was life-changing.”

Barbara also had a bespoke combination of lenses, with a reading lens in the left eye and a distance lens in the right, while her brain compensates to make her vision complete. She said: “Mr Pande refines the prescription to the nth degree and now I have the vision of a much younger person. It truly is staggering.”

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