A new service at Louth County Hospital will make cataract surgery easier for patients.
Patients can now have both their pre-operative assessments and operations closer to home thanks to a £150,000 investment by United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust.
The investment in eye surgery at the hospital will provide new equipment to allow surgeons to carry out cataract operations as well as minor oculoplastic procedures such as ptosis (droopy eyelid) surgery and surgery to correct abnormal eyelid postion such as entropion (eyelid rolling in) and ectropion surgery (eyelid rolling out).
The new service means that many patients will no longer have to travel to Lincoln, Boston or Grantham for these procedures, or for the pre-operative assessments that come before them.
The new equipment includes a new microscope and an IOL master machine, which cost £27,370 and was purchased by the Louth hospital League of Friends.
Ophthalmology Consultant Brian Redmill said they have so far done two lists of cataract patients at Louth hospital.
“This is a really positive development for Louth hospital and for Louth patients,” he said.
“The new equipment enables nursing staff to measure patients’ eyes in preparation for cataract surgery, so that full pre-operative assessment can be completed in one visit to the Louth clinic.
“Previously patients would attend Louth for examination and diagnosis with the doctor, and then a separate pre-operative assessment in Lincoln clinic.
“Cataract surgery is one of the most common operations and it can make a huge different to a patient’s sight. It is just the kind of thing we can do very easily and safely at Louth.”
The surgery takes less than half an hour and involves the cataract (clouding) being removed from the eye and a lens being put into the eye to correct the sight once the cataract has been removed.
Betty Snelling had cataract surgery on her right eye at Louth at the end of October and said it was a positive experience throughout.
She said: “I had the same operation on my left eye earlier in the year, but I had to travel to Lincoln for that. It was much easier and cheaper for me to get to Louth this time.
“I’ve had no problems with the surgery, it all went very well and the nurses and doctors were all brilliant.”