If you are in need of Ophthalmic Surgery but can't see your way clear to funding the high costs of rectifying your particular eye problem you are no doubt a very good candidate for an Ophthalmic procedure with Surgical Attractions in South Africa, as our Ophthalmologists are recognised world-wide for their above average knowledge and ability.
We have highlighted a number of procedures below that can easily and inexpensively be dealt with in a short period of time. If you believe your particular Ophthalmic problem is likely to be of a lengthier nature and you can afford to be in South Africa for a longer period of time or you make regular trips to South Africa either on business or pleasure please inform us of your individual requirements via our Enquiry Form and we shall be happy to accommodate your needs.
In order for us to make the best assessment of your requirements we shall request you to visit an Ophthalmologist close to where you live in order for a full assessment of your requirements to be made by him/her. Once you know exactly what you require you can email us your requirements and we will respond with the appropriate costs. This way you will be able to make a direct cost comparison in order to arrive at an informed decision as to how you would like to proceed.
If after making this cost comparison you decide to come to Surgical Attractions for your Ophthalmic procedure we shall arrange for the Ophthalmologist best suited to your needs to make contact with you in order to discuss your forthcoming procedure in more detail.
Following that discussion, during which you will be encouraged to ask as many questions as you like regarding the procedure, your surgeon will inform you in detail how the procedure will be conducted and how you can play your part in the successful outcome of the surgery.
The Excimer Laser has been hailed as probably the greatest advance yet made in eye surgery, revolutionising the lives of millions of patients by allowing them to discard, or be less dependent on, their glasses and contact lenses.
The original Excimer lasers were excellent and many are still in use today, eight years later: but technology continues to improve. Latest developments include the introduction of small spot scanning lasers that are gentler on the eye, and the eye tracking systems that "lock" the laser onto the eye and follow its movements, thus accurately placing treatment without relying on the patient to fixate on a target.
Older lasers change the shape of the cornea in a standard fashion depending on the refraction of the patient only. An exciting new development is the introduction of "customized" ablation. In this technique, 3-D contour maps are made of the cornea surface and the information is fed directly into the laser, which then selectively treats each part of the individual corneas to create a perfect surface and best possible vision result.
This latest sophisticated technology and the delicate surgical skills needed to administer it require the meticulous care of a dedicated team.
One of the most successful operations performed by eye surgeons is the cataract operation. This is extremely common and over one and a quarter million people in the USA have cataract operations every year. It is therefore a safe and very predictable operation. It is performed when the natural lens becomes opaque or not able to transmit light anymore. In the standard cataract operation the natural lens is removed and replaced by an implant (man made lens). For patients who have high refractive errors (short or long-sightedness) it is also possible to remove the lens and replace it with an implant of the correct power. The operation is exactly the same as a standard cataract operation although the indications are different. By assessing the length of the eye with ultra sound and measuring the curvature of cornea it is possible to accurately predict what strength implant is required to allow patients to see well in the distance without the use of glasses.
The cataract operation is very simple and is done under local anaesthesia. The whole procedure takes approximately 15 minutes and visual recovery is very quick, most patients seeing well the next day. Because it is a minor operation it is done within an operating theatre but as local anaesthesia is used, patients are not required to stay over night and are discharged from hospital usually within an hour of the operation. Modern cataract extraction is performed using a phaco-emulsification machine that uses a probe to enter the eye through a tiny hole. The probe separates the lens into fragments that are then washed out of the eye. Through the same tiny incision an implant is inserted into the eye, rather like inserting a ship into a bottle, the implant expanding into its correct position once in the eye.
Unlike the young natural lens, the implant has a fixed focus. This is usually for distance vision and the patient then requires reading glasses. In patients who are having both eyes operated, it is possible for one eye to be left slightly short sighted allowing the patient to have a greater range of vision and to see relatively well close up with one eye. This situation, where one eye sees better for distance and the other for near, is known as mono vision and in many patients this works very well. It is also possible to use the very latest multi-focal implants, so that reading glasses are also not necessary, both of these options will be discussed with you.
Patients have refractive errors, such as myopia (short sightedness) or hyperopia (long sightedness), because the curve of the cornea does not match the length of the eye. Light entering the eye is therefore not focused on the retina and vision is blurred. Most of the refraction, or bending of the light rays, occurs at the cornea but some refraction especially that concerned with fine focusing occurs within the eye at the natural lens. It is not possible to change the length of the eye, but it is possible for the Excimer laser to change the curve of the cornea, this is made flatter if you are short sighted or steeper (more curved) when you are long sighted. However only a certain amount of corneal curvature change is possible and with high degrees of myopia or hyperopia excessive change of cornea curvature results in loss of quality of vision. Also if the Excimer laser removes too much corneal tissue the cornea can become too thin and there is the danger of it being weakened. With these high refractive errors it is better to leave the cornea alone or perhaps use it for fine-tuning vision at a later stage. To correct high refractive errors we need to look at the role that the natural lens plays within the eye to focus.
With a phakic implant we supplement the strength of the natural lens by placing an extra lens within the eye on top of the natural lens. The phakic implant is inserted into the eye as a minor surgical procedure and is done under local or general anaesthesia. The phakic implant is rolled into a tight tube and placed through a minute incision into the eye, once inside it unrolls itself into the correct position. By supplementing the strength of the natural lens the phakic implant allows the patient to focus normally. Visual recovery is rapid and usually within a day, although slight improvement occurs over the following two or three weeks. Any residual astigmatism or minor refractive error can, of course, be corrected with subsequent Excimer laser surgery of the cornea.
Because the natural lens is left untouched the patient is still able to focus naturally for near. In those patients over the age of 45 who are already having problems focusing for near, spectacles will be required for reading. Phakic implants are relatively new but have been used extensively in patients with high refractive errors during the past eight years. It is known that a very small percentage of patients will develop cataracts in the natural lens, but these are usually older patients. Therefore for older patients we normally recommend a different procedure where the natural lens is replaced by an implant similar to a cataract operation. This is different to a phakic implant that is inserted in addition to the natural lens.