The eye surgery, changing people’s lives

Multifocal lens surgery has allowed people to see clearly for a number of years, but what does it entail and how exactly does it change your life?

We caught up with the newest ophthalmologist surgeon and multifocal lens specialist, to join Swansea’s HMT Sancta Maria Hospital, Mr Mo Majid, for his insight into the surgery that changes the lives of thousands of people each year.

What are multifocal lenses?

In a nutshell, multifocal lenses are lenses you place inside the eye which replace the need for glasses. A multifocal lens can correct several issues including stigmatism, distance vision, near vision, intermediate vision – one bespoke lens can correct all those issues.

How are multifocal lenses fitted?

Multifocal lenses are fitted under two different circumstances. The first, in someone that has cataract surgery. You will replace the cloudy lens with a multifocal lens, allowing multi vision post-surgery.

The second, in someone that finds wearing glasses or contact lenses a nuisance. These individuals do not have cataracts but they want to stop wearing glasses or contact lenses. This surgery is known as Refractive Lens Exchange.

What are the benefits of multifocal lenses?

In cataract surgery, if you have a standard lens fitted, you will still need to wear near vision glasses as an intermediate and you may still also need to wear distance glasses. The benefits of multifocal lenses is that you substantially reduce or remove the need for glasses. Some patients, it’s complete removal of glasses, for others – substantial reduction.

What does the procedure entail?

We all have a natural lens within the eye, in fact, the eye has two lenses and it’s a bit like a camera system. The lens inside the eye can go cloudy and so that’s cataract, or it may be that the lens within the eye is not the correct prescription and so you need new lenses. So what we do is remove the natural lens within the eye, either by a cataract operation or via a Refractive Lens Exchange, and then replace that lens with the artificial multifocal lens.

What’s the first step of having multifocal lenses fitted?

Get in touch with us at HMT Sancta Maria Hospital, and we will book you in for a consultation. In this consultation, we would look at your eye history, make sure you’re suitable for surgery and would look at whether you have any diseases that would stop you from benefiting from the surgery.

We would then do a series of scans that look at all the parameters of the eyes, which would allow us to calculate the exact lens you would need. Everyone’s eyes are different and so when we do the lens calculation, we have to be very specific about what we calculate and what we will need to correct. It’s all part and parcel of the process and as a patient, it would feel similar to when you go for a sight test for glasses. 

What do you do during the procedure?

It’s the same operation as a cataract operation – it is a sterile procedure and takes place in theatre.

You will to the hospital about two to three hours before the surgery begins and believe it or not, the surgery itself only takes between 15 and 20 minutes per eye. We would do one eye in one sitting and the second a week or so later.

We would begin by sterilising your eye with a weak iodine solution and then administer anaesthetic eye drops, which would completely numb your eye for the surgery, of which you’ll stay awake for.

Many people get nervous about this, but with the anaesthetic drops and bright microscope light that magnifies the eye for us, you won’t actually see any sharp objects coming towards you. There is nothing to worry about, this is a completely routine procedure.  

What happens after the procedure?

After the surgery, we will place a shield over your eye to protect it- you can still see through this shield. We will then take you in a wheelchair to have a cup of coffee, and after around 30 minutes, if you feel ok, you will be free to go home.

Post-op care – what can I expect?

Your downtime post-surgery is very minimal. You’ll notice an almost immediate improvement in your vision with it improving more so after a few days. If you wear make-up, we advise you to avoid it for a few days to a week, just to keep any potential irritations at bay.

You will be given anti-inflammatory and antibiotic drops, to administer four times a day, every day, for one month. These will be a huge help and essential during the healing process. We will also provide you with a bandage to wear at night, just to avoid any accidents, like poking yourself in the eye, while sleeping.

What have been patient reactions post-surgery?

I love seeing how patients react after surgery. They are almost always in shock when they realise just how quickly they can see clearly after surgery. Some patients think it’s complete magic and as someone that loves fixing things, there is no better feeling for me!

About Mo Majid…

Mr Majid completed his junior training in Taunton and Liverpool, but most of his registrar, fellowship, and specialist training was in Bristol. In the South-West region, he is one of the surgeons that have been fitting multifocal lenses the longest. He has a specialised degree with distinction in Refractive Lens Exchange Surgery and is looking forward to treating patients in his new role at Swansea’s HMT Sancta Maria Hospital.

If you would like to book a consultation with Mr Mo Majid during his Wednesday clinic, contact the team at HMT Sancta Maria directly on 01792 479 040 or email: SMEnquiries@hmtsanctamaria.org.