In many parts of the country, planned and routine operations were put on hold as NHS hospitals prepared for, or coped with, admissions due to coronavirus. Many hospitals stopped everything except emergency surgery.
Many private hospitals also stopped offering operating theatre time for non-urgent private operations as the NHS bought out their theatre capacity to deliver some much needed cancer care and other treatments that couldn’t safely wait. Around the country, many hospitals have still not resumed routine operating, including cataract operations.
So I am delighted to bring you the good news that some London hospitals, both NHS and private, have resumed planned operations for cataracts and other eye conditions, such as epiretinal membranes and macular holes, and I am seeing patients waiting for cataract and retinal operations.
I’ve been operating throughout lockdowns one and two as I also treat retinal detachments, which are usually treated urgently. As the NHS contract came to an end at some private hospitals in September, I’ve been able to offer cataract operations and other surgery such as vitrectomy for macular holes, epiretinal membranes and significant floaters that have been causing problems with clear vision
If you are waiting for cataract or retinal surgery, do contact us as we will be able to see you and find a date for surgery within a few weeks – cataract operations are going ahead. Read more about cataracts and cataract operations here.
As with everything during the pandemic, we are taking precautions to reduce the spread of the virus, and everyone coming for planned surgery has a Covid swab 3 days before their operation (organised as part of your admission) and then you will need to isolate till your admission for surgery, to reduce the chances of you picking up the virus after you’ve been tested. In addition to the usual consent for surgery, you will also be asked to sign a consent form specifically related to the risks of picking up the coronavirus infection during your admission. I understand how difficult it is to make a decision about whether to go ahead with surgery soon or wait for life to go back to normal, and what I would suggest is that you consider how you are coping with your vision while you wait for surgery. Not all cataracts have to be operated on soon, so if you are getting on alright, and feel safe with your vision, it is probably okay to wait. If, however, your vision is affected so that you are having difficulty with day to day activities such as work, hobbies, or driving, and particularly if your vision doesn’t meet, or is borderline for, legal driving vision, then you may feel that you need to go ahead even during the pandemic. Whatever you decide, we are here to help you make make the right choice for you. You can find out more about how cataract might be affecting you to help you decide if you should have surgery
Do contact my Practice Manager, Joy, on firstname.lastname@example.org, or phone 07899918758.