I had lens replacement (IOL, RLE) surgery to fix short-sightedness in Feb/Mar 2013. I’ve had my first annual check up everything is fine. I couldn’t be more happy! And I wholeheartedly recommend Valerie Saw. I describe my experience in full detail below and hope it helps others with their choices.
I have been short-sighted with astigmatism since childhood and wore contact lenses for 25 years. In my 40’s I began to need reading glasses too. I tried monovision and multifocal contact lenses and couldn’t get used to either so reluctantly changed to varifocal glasses. By the end of 2012 my prescription had deteriorated to short-sightedness of -10.00D and reading +1.50D plus astigmatism. I was struggling with reading and computer work and frustrated with wearing thick, uncomfortable glasses.
After researching the London area I chose Moorfields Eye Hospital because they are world leaders in this field with a long and excellent track record and have a team of highly qualified consultants specialising in a wide range of procedures.
As I wasn’t sure which procedure would be best for me I chose consultant Valerie Saw because of her broad experience with lens implants (PIOL – Phakic Intraocular lens, ICL – Implantable Contact Lens), lens replacement (IOL – Intraocular Lens, RLE – Refractive Lens Exchange) and laser surgery (LASIK).
I was interested in lens implants (ICL) but Valerie recommended lens replacement (RLE) as I was over 45 years old. As part of the aging process natural lenses thicken reducing the space available for lens implants. The implant procedure is more difficult to perform in the smaller space and the risk of complications, including initiating an early cataract, increases. Once our natural lenses have lost their ability to accommodate (focus) they do not offer any advantages over artificial lenses so lens replacement is recommended.
Lens replacement (RLE) is identical to cataract surgery, except that a custom prescription lens is used. As cataract surgery is the most widely performed eye surgery worldwide its well understood and the risks are low. Some other advantages are: your prescription will not change again so glasses don’t need frequent replacing; you can’t get cataracts so future cataract surgery is avoided.
I was initially very wary of having my healthy natural lenses removed in an irreversible procedure at a relatively youthful age. I left the initial consultation with Valerie feeling very uncertain about RLE. I did some more research and spoke to another consultant. I also emailed Valerie a few times with various questions which she responded to providing all the information I needed. A couple of months later I decided to go ahead with RLE and had the first eye done in February 2013 followed by the second eye two weeks later.
For each eye, I was in hospital for about six hours in total although the actual surgery only took about half an hour. After the surgery I was given a meal whilst waiting for the anaesthetic to wear off then was allowed to go home. My eye had a patch over it which needed to be kept on overnight. The patch prevented me from wearing my glasses so I was completely blind after the first eye operation and had to rely on my husband to guide me around and get me home.
When I took the eye patch off the next morning I could see very well although there was some cloudiness. The eye itself was a bit tender and red, especially where the anaesthetic had been put in. I had a bit of a headache behind the eye for the first day and took paracetamol to relieve this. After about a week the cloudy vision and most of the redness had cleared up. The prescription fluctuated in the first few days before settling down.
Glasses that correct for distance make everything appear smaller and further way, rather like looking through the wrong end of a telescope. When wearing my old glasses with one lens removed everything appeared to be about 25% smaller with my short-sighted eye (-10 dioptres) compared with my corrected eye. No wonder I was having difficulty reading 8 point text prior to surgery! As Valerie had warned me, seeing two clear images of different sizes was akin to double vision so I discarded the glasses and managed with one eye for two weeks.
The final post-surgery result can vary by up to +1.0 or -1.0 dioptre (D) from the result the consultant is aiming for. I did not want to be near-sighted so we aimed for a slightly short-sighted outcome. The target was for -0.3D in the first eye and it eventually settled down to -0.5D which is nearly perfect distance vision. The target for the second eye was -1.4D and the final result was -2.25D which gives excellent reading vision at about 30cm, a bit too close but perfect for reading phones. Both eyes are slightly blurred for the middle (computer) distance. My astigmatism was also corrected.
I was unable to drive for about six weeks until both eyes had stabilised and Valerie could provide me with a new prescription. I ordered a pair of distance glasses for driving and another pair for intermediate computer use. These are the only times I regularly wear glasses.
Having struggled with monovision previously I was expecting it to take a long time to get used to. Valerie also warned me that as the difference between my eyes was more than 1.0D it would take at least six months, possibly longer, to get used to. I found that in just a few weeks I was quite comfortable in familiar places with good lighting (home, office). It took longer to get used to busy streets, dusk, bright lights, TV and computer screens. A year on, my brain completely blocks out the distracting blurred image and I can’t perceive it even when I look for it!
I have more floaters in my eyes since the surgery but only notice these when looking at pale surfaces. As a result of this surgery I have a small increased risk of glaucoma and retinal detachment. For me, the benefits outweigh the risks.
I’m extremely happy with the outcome and would happily recommend this surgery to anyone, especially if you have severe short-sightedness. Valerie Saw is not only highly qualified, but helpful, kind, gentle and patient as well and I highly recommend her to anyone considering this type of surgery.
I was so afraid of this operation but Ms Saw has a calm and gentle manner which is so reassuring to the patient. Her skills are outstanding – I can’t remember being able to see from early childhood, but because of Ms Saw’s abilities a miracle has occurred and I can see when I open my eyes. I am so grateful to her. The whole Moorfields private patient experience was first class. Thank you to everyone
I was very apprehensive about the cataract treatment and I think this came across in the consultations. Ms Saw was very good at dealing with this and her very professional approach was also reassuring. Both of the operations were managed very professionally and the results astounding.
Having suffered the burden of wearing spectacles for in excess of 15 years and of late becoming increasingly dependent upon them for close work, I consulted Valerie Saw with a view to corrective surgery.The initial examination was thorough beyond all previous experience and her advice complete, informative and very reassuring. Taking the plunge I elected lasik surgery and the procedure was duly completed without pain in a calm and comforting environment by a scrupulously professional team led by Valerie. Despite the recent surgery there was an immediate and staggering improvement in my vision and within 12 hours I could read newsprint without the aid spectacles. It is now 4 months since the procedure and having undergone 3 equally thorough post operative checks the result continues to improve. I am now free to pursue my passion for wildlife photography and bird watching without the constant annoyance of spectacles hanging around my neck and the only regret is that I didn’t have the procedure carried out years ago! If you are in any doubt forget it, make an appointment to see Valerie, put your trust in her abilities and enjoy a life changing experience. Brilliant!
I had LASIK after suffering from iritis and blepharitis, I was very nervous about the procedure but Ms Saw was very clear in explaining what would happen, which made me feel at ease on the day. The LASIK result was overwhelming with joy that such instant results could change my sight from -6.5 to 20/20. Thank you!
I recently had bilateral LASEK eye surgery for a mild/moderate myopia with Ms Saw – and I am thrilled with the results. I researched and contacted a number of London based clinics and surgeons and after contacting Ms Saw’s office I was really impressed with the professional and personalised service that her team offered me. When I met with Ms Saws office the professional and personalised service continued. I am very active and I hold a PPL and we agreed that LASEK was a better choice for me. During the surgery I was grateful that Ms Saw explained what she was doing at each and every step of the very short procedure. During the follow up and aftercare I found Ms Saw and her team to be easily available to answer any questions. My recovery was very fast aided by the aftercare and my PPL Medical certificate was re-issued by a CAA Medical Examiner after 3 months instead of the anticipated 12. I am 100% satisfied with my treatment would recommend Ms Saw to anyone considering laser eye surgery.
I first met Ms Saw in the A&E department at Moorfields. I had a corneal ulcer on my right eye caused by my contact lenses. I was under her care for 3 months whilst the ulcer healed. I received excellent care and so I decided to go back to Ms Saw to discuss the possibility of laser surgery. Due to the large scar (3mm) on my right eye, Ms Saw was unsure if laser surgery would work and was very honest with me about the end result. I decided I wanted to go ahead and in August 2013 I had Lasik (left eye) and Lasek (right eye) treatment. Both eyes healed very well and recovery was very quick in my left eye (Lasik). Despite a large astigmatism in the left eye, the treatment was 100% successful. My right eye (Lasek) took longer to recover and although the 1st treatment corrected my short sight, it did not correct the astigmatism, which was probably due to the scaring from the ulcer. I continued to see Ms Saw for several months to assess progress and in January 2014, we decided to try a second Lasek treatment. This time the procedure was completely successful. I can now say, June 2014 that I have 20:20 vision in both eyes. It is amazing and I am SO grateful to Ms Saw for her professionalism and care. Despite being an ‘unusual’ case, she was willing to treat me and I hope that my experience will give hope to others in a similar situation. I have no hesitation in recommending Ms Saw and would highly recommend her.
I can’t thank Valerie enough for competely transforming my vision: from -8.50 and virtually no vision without glasses or lenses to perfect vision for both distance and reading. At all stages Valerie provided a totally professional service. The aftercare support was fantastic. I cannot think of a more successful outcome nor a surgeon I could more highly recommend.
Ms Saw and her team are very friendly and professional – they made sure I understood everything beforehand and explained exactly how the procedure would go so I knew what to expect. Ms Saw’s manner is calm and reassuring and I am thrilled with the results.
Moorfields is the top eye hospital in the country and Ms Saw an outstanding surgeon. Very clear information and individual attention as I had long standing conjuctivitis and blepharitis as well as myopia. Felt fully prepared for the surgery and extremely confident in her skill. Delighted to wholeheartedly recommend both the procedure and Ms Saw. Can’t believe I didn’t have this done years ago!
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