Needles, motes and beams – part 2

Monday’s post about Sir Isaac Newton prompted a comment on the subject of eye operations from the one who cares about these things.

You see, eye operations are usually performed with either local or regional anaesthetics. (“… which means that the recovery rate is umpty percent better, and the operations are dumpty percent cheaper so that dum-diddy thousand more are done each year…. “ … or so the one who cares about these things explained). However, with some eye surgery the patient sees the scalpel come towards the eye, the latex covered hand, the surgeon’s masked face.


Ikketty ikkk. Ikketty ikketty IKKETTY IKKK!

Thankfully that is not something I’ve ever had to deal with, but I thought I’d share the following two images which are linked to the article in which they were originally published.

Visual experiences during cataract surgery under topical anaesthesia and Visual experiences during cataract surgery under topical anaesthesia

These show what a cataract operation looks like to the patient.

With a cataract, of course, you start with a lens which is translucent but not transparent, so you can see light and shade and little else. These two paintings were painted by artists following their eye operations. The full article is worth reading if only because of the slightly non-plussed tone of the thing.

I feel slightly non-plussed by them myself, but I thought they were oddly interesting, and worth sharing.

Right. That’s the last thing I have to say about sticking needles into your eyes, I promise. Well, unless there’s a next time.

5 responses to “Needles, motes and beams – part 2

  1. Hmmm must ring up and find out about when my old man is in for his second cateract op. And ask him if he experienced anything like that.

  2. When my Gran got home from having her cataracts sorted she walked into her lounge looked at the wall and said she never knew the wallpaper had a pattern on it.

    That’s the level of improvement in sight it gives you.

    So, the patient probably sees a silvery blurry blob approaching their eyeball!

  3. We’ve been trying to get Ma to go for cataract surgery – but she’s having none of it. Sigh.

    Can’t say I’d relish the idea of sharp things coming straight for my eyeball either.

  4. Thanks, all.

    *waves smelling-salts under nutsinmay’s nose*

    Phil, do let us know what your father says. I’ll ask the one who pointed it out to me in the first place what his grandmother’s experience was.

    Alfster, you are right, people having cataract ops would not see the surgeon, etc, but if your sight is reasonable and you are having an operation for some other purpose you do. Hence, ikkkk.

    Herding parents is worse than herding children or cats, Teuchter. Never mind. When you are an akkard old besom you can get your revenge.

    *kisses to all*


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