No complaints about the actual surgery. However, the waiting period before surgery on the day of the appointment was unnecessarily long. This, together with a systemic lack of communication, made for an extremely stressful day. My husband's appointment was 11 am. He was taken along for surgery at about 4.20 pm. Although we knew beforehand that surgery would not be done until the afternoon, we didn't anticipate having to wait over 5 hours. It seems all the afternoon appointments were given the same attendance time, despite having to be seen in turn. We were last on the list. A helpful nurse advised that next time we should ask where we are on the list and then, if appropriate, come in later than the appointment time. I don't think the onus should be on the patient to do this - and in any case most patients would be shy to do so in case they were sent home for failing to keep to the written appointment time.
My prescription for my left eye was -7.00, which is pretty poor. I had always worn contact lenses & glasses if necessary as a last resort. I deferred having laser treatment to correct my vision as I wasn't 100% convinced that I would get ideal vision after the treatment and whether I could wear contacts again if my vision deteriorated slightly over the years due to scarring of the eye from the laser. In the end I was diagnosed with cataracts in both eyes. My vision was clear but I would get double vision when looking at distant objects. I did did not think this was due to cataracts as everyone I spoke to, like friends & family, tell me that my vision would be misty if I suffered from cataracts, but it wasn't, just double vision. I therefore went to my regular optician on a number of occasions & they confirmed that I do need that operation even though the specialist in the ophthalmology department in the hospital said I had very good vision, in fact, better than I thought. 6/4 vision, albeit double vision at a distance. After my persistence I found a doctor at the hospital on one of my regular visits who was sympathetic to my problem & recommended me to have the operation. Well, I've now had the cataract operation last week & when the patch came off the following day at the hospital I could not believe the result. They told me that the operation had been a success and for the first time in my life I can read most of the letters on the bottom line of their chart & all this without the need of contact lenses or glasses. What a result. The operation took under 10 minutes & no pain whatsoever. All I saw was a bright white light & most of the time loads of clear liquid flowing over my eye. I was waiting for the laser then the lens to be placed in the eye but before I knew it they told me it had been done. I wasn't even aware that any of it had been done until he said I'm ready to go back to the ward. An unbelievable experience, one I wholly recommend if your optician says that you need it. I'm now waiting to have the other eye done. Thank you St Albans City Hospital. Everyone there is to be congratulated as every member of the team showed true professionalism in the way they all conducted themselves.