‘The procedure has truly changed my life,’ says Saint James Eye Clinic’s Michelle D’Amato 

Mariella Camilleri - 26th November 2019 

Members of the Saint James Eye Clinic team share their own personal experiences of undergoing eye laser treatment and Refractive Lens Exchange, and how treatment has impacted their lives.

Great advances in laser technology and eye surgery have been made in recent years and, these days, both reading and far-sighted glasses can become a thing of the past. Shedding light on the most recent advancements in technology helping to improve patient eyesight, members of the Saint James Eye Clinic team share their personal experiences undergoing different procedures to eliminate the need to wear glasses.

Over the years, Saint James Eye Clinic has built a stellar reputation for offering both eye laser treatment and Refractive Lens Exchange – procedures that help to restore vision in the least invasive way possible. Both courses of action provide the opportunity to live life as nature intended – perfectly sighted and specs free.

The SMILE Eye Laser procedure, which corrects far sightedness, is the only available technique that does not make use of a blade. Unlike other treatments, which could cause damage to the cornea, SMILE is a very low-risk procedure because it is less invasive than most other interventions. Testament to this success lies in the staff of Saint James Eye Clinic – a number of members have had their vision restored thanks to the trustworthy surgeons and the services the clinic offers.

Upon consultation, the surgeon will ensure that patients interested in the procedure do not suffer from any condition where treatment may be contraindicated. These include pregnant women, patients who suffer from uncontrolled diabetes and rheumatologic conditions, to name a few. Those eligible for treatment will also undergo tests to ensure they are can achieve the desired visual outcome.

The surgeon will discuss the options available and help patients choose accordingly. In cases where both near and far sightedness need to be corrected, Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE) may be recommended. During the surgery, the natural lens is replaced with an artificial intraocular lens, which corrects any refractive errors, achieving sharper focus.

RLE is ideal for patients with extreme far sightedness as well as those who are not eligible for other procedures. If one requires both reading and distance glasses, RLE could provide the desired solution. In RLE, the inserted lens is one that provides a sharper and a clearer focus. The natural crystalline lens of the eye is removed; therefore, no cataracts can be developed in the future.

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Jean Claude Muscat – CEO / Procedure – Refractive Lens Exchange

“I decided to opt for the refractive lens replacement treatment after having worn glasses for over 30 years. It wasn’t much about my appearance but rather about the inconvenience they caused, especially when I needed both far sighted and reading glasses. I had to swap these whilst driving or watching television which was impractical.

“I opted for Refractive Lens Exchange with a multifocal implant rather than the laser treatment because I needed to correct both distance and close vision. This surgery allowed me to recover my eyesight to perfection since I can now read and see from far without having to use specs.

“On the day of the treatment, I was calm and not too concerned about the procedure itself. I was obviously well informed, however, the support of our superb nurses and doctors helped greatly.

“Afterwards, I was impressed at how quickly I recovered. I could see clearly from the next day, however, my vision became sharper and sharper over the next two weeks. For the first few days, I was sensitive to light, but this problem resolved itself as the days went by. In fact, I only took one day off work after the surgery and was able to resume all routine activity the following day.”

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Ali Shehzad – CFO / Procedure – SMILE

“I had worn glasses since I was seven years old and they became a part of me. However, having bad eyesight meant that I was totally dependent on wearing specs because my vision was very poor.

“When I joined Saint James Eye Clinic, I obviously became very interested in this treatment. I knew that I would never see well without my glasses but the thought of living without them became more appealing as time went by. Not having to rely on glasses gives a person a lot of freedom, especially for someone like me who couldn’t function properly without them.

“I was not concerned at all about whether the SMILE procedure would be painful or whether it would be successful. Thankfully, the treatment went well, just as I had expected. I didn’t experience any discomfort and soon after I left the theatre, I was amazed to discover that my vision had already improved. Having eye laser treatment has really changed my life.”

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Tanya Costa – Head of Quality Services / Procedure – Surface Ablation

“I have worn glasses since I was a teenager. Back then, I used to play tennis and I loved scuba diving, however, having glasses was a great hindrance. Unfortunately, I was allergic to contact lenses and so had to wear glasses all day long.

“I was working as a laser machine operator at Saint James when I finally decided to undergo the surface ablation procedure. Of course, seeing patients walk in with their glasses and leave without them played a big part. I think seeing how relieved they looked made me opt for the treatment sooner than I thought.

“At the time I had my eye laser treatment, only surface ablation was available. I did experience some pain and discomfort afterwards, which lasted around four days (Tanya had the procedure 14 years ago using an earlier generation laser platform. Today, the procedure is pain free). However, once the contact lens inserted during the procedure was removed, I was as good as new. Thankfully, these days I no longer need glasses and I can see clearly.”

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Michelle D’Amato – Head of Housekeeping Procedure – Refractive Lens Exchange

“I’ve always suffered from bad eyesight, but I resisted getting specs until I turned 16. By then, my vision had become so poor that I had no choice but to get prescription glasses.

“I wasn’t comfortable wearing specs because I hated having a foreign object on my face. Having +8 Dioptres of vision meant I was totally reliant on my specs and so very limited when carrying out certain activities. Later, I started using contact lenses, but these weren’t very comfortable either.

“I had considered laser surgery, however, having a high ‘plus’ prescription meant I was not eligible for the procedure. Eventually, I was advised to do the lens replacement procedure, as it would correct both close and far sightedness.

“Following the surgery, I was relieved to discover that I wasn’t in pain. For the first few hours my eyes kept watering, but I had already noticed an improvement in my vision. By the next day, my sight became crystal- clear and now I can see all the tiny details that weren’t visible to me in the past.

“It’s truly amazing that my eyesight was corrected with such a short and rapid intervention. I urge anyone who is interested to take the plunge. I’m glad I did because my eyesight has never been better. The procedure has truly changed my life.”

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Janet Pisani – Head of Reception / Procedure – Refractive Lens Exchange

“At the age of 25 I needed glasses to see from afar. I hated wearing specs because I looked better without them and found them rather inconvenient. I had eye laser treatment done 15 years ago and it corrected my vision. Life is somehow a bit easier when one doesn’t need to rely on glasses.

“I spent the next eight years without glasses, until reading became a problem, so I was prescribed specs once again. This time I opted for the refractive lens exchange with a multifocal implant because far sightedness was also becoming an issue. The surgery meant that I would be completely specs-free.

“I was naturally apprehensive about the surgery, but my colleagues were wonderful and offered full support.

“Post-surgery, I was amazed to discover that there was no discomfort and my eyesight improved instantly. The procedure is amazing for people who are over 40, when both near and far sightedness begin to diminish.”

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‘The procedure has truly changed my life,’ says Saint James Eye Clinic’s Michelle D’Amato