GENERAL SURGERY FAQS

I was recommended to have eye surgery, what do I need to know?


You will be provided with either a booklet or a link which contains the necessary information about your condition and the procedure which you will undergo. This will need to be read before coming for the Pre-Assessment visit. If you are unable to read this information then you can have someone read it to you. You will also be provided with the cost of the surgery.




What is the Pre-Assessment visit?


This is when you come in to get measurements done on your eye and/or to discuss the surgery with the surgeon. Any questions you may have about the surgery will be answered by the team. You will also be asked to read through, understand and sign the medical procedure consent form. It is advisable that you bring your spouse, close relative or guardian to this appointment. The Pre-Assessment visit is done before you are scheduled for surgery.




What about the cost of the surgery?


The cost of surgery will be provided to you at the same time you receive the booklet for your condition. If you have insurance, please provide the insurance information to the technician before coming to your pre-assessment visit. (Name of insurance company, Policy Holder, Plan, Card number) Fees are broken down into two components: Theatre fee and Procedure fee. The Theatre fees must be paid directly to the facility at which the procedure is being done and the Procedure Fee is paid at Warrens Eye Care Centre. We only assign benefits for the procedure fee to the insurance companies. When are fees due? All fees are due 2 days before the date of the scheduled procedure and must be paid in full.




Where are the procedures done?


Most procedures can be done either at Ashton Clinic or QEH. Cataracts are done predominantly at Ashton Clinic which is located in Eden Lodge, St. Michael (see map below). Corneal Transplants will be done at the main operating theatre at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH). The theatre is located on the third floor. From the main entrance, take the first left and head towards the Radiology department. Take either the stairs or the elevator to the third floor. Exit the elevator and turn left. Exit the stairs and turn right. Upon reaching the theatre, inform the nurse of your arrival.




Is out-patient registration required?


Yes, registration is required for all procedures being done at the QEH. We provide you with a letter addressed to the Corporate Business Unit on the day of your pre-assessment visit advising them on the type and date of the procedure. Please take this letter along with two forms of identification to the Corporate Business Unit at least 2 working days before the procedure is done. If you are unable to go, you can assign someone to take the letter and payment for the theatre fee on your behalf. This unit is located on the first floor. Enter through the main lobby at the Q.E.H, take the first corridor on the left and you will see the sign on the door just past the Accounts department.




What are the risks of the procedure?


With all surgical procedures, there is a possibility of complications. However, complications from eye surgery that could threaten your vision are extremely rare. Your surgeon will thoroughly explain all of the potential risks to you at your pre-assessment visit.




How do I prepare for the procedure?


The majority of procedures we do are done under local anaesthetic. That means no special preparation (such as not eating beforehand) is usually required. However, your surgeon will advise you at your pre-assessment appointment if any special preparations are necessary. Dress comfortably and do not wear any make-up. Have transportation arrangements to and from the theatre.




How long does the procedure last and are there follow up visits?


This depends on the procedure. Most procedures can be done within an hour, others can take a little longer. You will be discharged after the procedure. For some procedures, one or more follow-up visits are required to make sure the surgery has been successful, and check that your eye is healing well. There will be no charge for the first 3 or 4 follow-up visits depending on the procedure.




What precautions should I take after surgery?


Your eye will be patched after surgery for your protection. After eye surgery, it’s important to reduce the risk of infection as much as possible. That usually means avoiding swimming, and exposure to potentially contaminated water such as hot tubs. It is also advisable to avoid facial or hair products as they can cause irritation if it gets into the eye. For how long depends on your surgery and expected recovery time, but two weeks is generally advised. Depending on the outcome and type of surgery, you will be able to resume driving within a couple of days. It’s also very important to follow any specific instructions your surgeon gives you, such as using any eye drops or medication you are given, or wearing an eye patch to protect your eye.




Will I need to take time off of work after the surgery?


Yes, you will require approximately 1- 2 weeks off work after the surgery and we will provide you with a medical certificate for your employer if required, the day after your surgery. Some people may need additional time.




What is the difference between the 3 O’s?


An ophthalmologist is a doctor , an M.D. , with expertise in medical and surgical eye problems who performs operations on the eyes. An ophthalmologist can perform a comprehensive eye exam. An optometrist is a health care specialist who assists patients with the health of the eyes and related vision. Optometrists are trained to prescribe and fit lenses to improve vision. They also diagnose and treat various eye diseases. An optometrist can perform a comprehensive eye exam. An optician is a specialized practitioner who designs, fits and dispenses lenses for the correction of a person's vision. Opticians determine the specifications of various ophthalmic solutions – from prescription, to eyeglass frames, to lens technology – that will give the necessary and best correction to a person's eyesight.




Why are eye exams important?


We regularly see people who haven’t had an eye test in years, they haven’t noticed a difference in their eyesight so didn’t see the need for an eye test. You may not have any pain or symptoms with underlying eye conditions, an eye test can detect any problems and pick up signs of eye conditions very early. The earlier you receive treatment for any eye conditions, the more effective the treatment will be. Eye tests aren’t just beneficial for your eyes, they can also be beneficial for your health. The eye test can also detect any underlying health conditions such as Diabetes, High Blood Pressure and High Cholesterol. As the small blood vessels in the eye are some of the smallest in the body it is also possible to pick up the early signs of other conditions like Multiple Sclerosis and Brain Tumours- Though rest assured that these are rare.




How often should I have my eyes examined?


Most people need an eye examination every two years. Certain groups of people may require more frequent appointments than this and the Optometrist will advise them accordingly.




Will my eyes get worse by wearing my glasses too much?


No. A common misconception is that when you start wearing reading glasses they make your eyes deteriorate – unfortunately once your reading vision begins to deteriorate (usually during your 40's or 50's) it will continue to deteriorate due to natural changes in the eye, regardless of whether or how much you wear your glasses. A bit like getting grey hair or wrinkles – it is an aging process caused by the lens inside your eye growing larger and becoming less flexible. When you are given a prescription for glasses your Optometrist will advise you when to wear them. It is usually not possible to wear glasses too much – but you should not use glasses prescribed for reading for distance or vice versa unless the optician has told you to.




Will my vision keep getting worse?


As described above the aging process cannot be halted. Sometimes the prescription will not change for many years, at other times they will seem to change quite quickly. In particular children's eyes can change very rapidly especially if they are shortsighted (myopic).




When should a child have his/her first eye exam?


Always before they start school and ideally even younger. Good vision is vital for early years education and often even though your child may appear to be seeing well, a problem with one eye only or a muscle problem can cause problems with learning but will not be noticeable at other times. Small babies with suspected vision problems will usually be referred to the hospital but toddlers can have their eyes tested at the opticians.




How can you test my child's eyes if he/she is not able to read letters or speak yet?


The Optometrist can use symbols and matching games instead of identifying letters. Letter matching can be practiced at home beforehand, and even children under 4 regularly surprise their parents in the consulting room by accurately showing us which letter is 'the same'. Much of the testing that is done by the Optometrist requires little input from the child. The child's eye exam is focused on assessment of the strength of the eyes, eye muscle status, and eye health to ensure proper vision development. Critical information can be obtained about your child's eyes without them needing to say a word!





Location to Ashton Clinic