I thought I will tell you a little about my work at the eye clinic, it’s so fascinating with eye operations. I work with Dr Hatice Arodezli Soydemir at her own clinic, Cyprus Eye Clinic. She’s an Ophtamologist and Ophthalmological surgeon. She specialises in cataract operations but of course knows and treats everything else that has to do with eyes.
I work both as an operation assistant and a nurse. I take care of all the work before the operation, like sterilising the instruments, lay the operation table and prepare the patient. Sometimes the patients are a little tens and part of my work is to get them to relax. There is a lot of laughing and joking and trust.
Most of the operations I’m in on are cataract operations. Cataract comes due to age, heritage or disease/trauma. The lens in the eye gets clouded and it gets harder and harder to see anything. If it is let to go too far you don’t see anything at all.
During the operation I have control of the liquid to the Phaco-machine, give the doctor the instruments she need and all the rest an operation assistant needs to do. Dr Hatice teaches me a lot, she always “walks” me trough the operation and tells me what this specific cataract’s problem is, where it’s located and the hardness of it. After the operation I keep the patient a little while just to see that they are well, without dizziness or nausea. If they got anaesthetics or relaxing medication during the operation I keep them until they are fully awake.
We also have an anaesthetic doctor with us during the operation in case the patient needs to be put to sleep or needs relaxing drugs. It’s for patient security because often due to age or illness you can’t predict what will happen and we want to be prepared in case. Nothing has ever happened but it’s better to be safe than sorry.
We are a great team that works very well together, we are good friends and have lots of fun. For us the patient’s well being is the most important part of the procedure.
Being a Swedish nurse with a BSc of science in medicine/surgery I have very high standards regarding cleanness, organisation and patient safety. In “my” operation unit no one comes in “unclean”. Full dressing is required! We once had a heart specialist with us during an operation due to the patient’s heart condition. Due to being a professor he probably assumed he was automatically sterile so he tried to enter “MY” operation unit in ordinary clothing! I gently but firmly escorted him to the dressing room and gave him the operation outfit. Under some protests he changed. Afterwards he complained to Dr Hatice but she only answered “The operation unit is Madde´s domain, I only operate”. We have had some good laughs due to this incident. That is trust and I’m proud to work with a doctor that appreciates my skills just as I trust her knowledge.
The clinic has the latest of instruments and I’m especially proud of the Swedish operation table, fun to come to North Cyprus and work with something you know from home.
During the operation I follow the whole procedure in the microscope (from Switzerland) and it’s like entering a new world. When the doctor starts to remove the cataract it looks like she’s cutting through white marble. With the Phaco-machine she breaks the cataract with ultrasound then sucks out the old lense, it’s a no stich operation. As more and more of the cataract is disappearing you see the clearness of the vitreous, it’s beautiful. You can compare it with a clouded sun that slowly comes out and shines from a clear sky.
Then the artificial lense is put in and cleared, like hovered, from viscoelastic and debris from the old lens. Then some cortisone and antibiotics are added and it’s finished. The procedure takes about 20 min.
The best part is to meet the patient after a while, they are so happy and they can SEE! The coulours is what most of them talk about, gone from a greyish kind of world to a world full of colours.
Some may need glasses due to astigmatism present before the operation and some may need reading glasses. There are multifocal lenses but Dr Hatice does not like them due to the problem they cause with night vision. There are other ways to solve these issues and it’s down to a discussion with the Doctor. I have a natural correction for this with one eye seeing far and one for reading (with good light) for now, but age is taking its tolls.
To be operated here for cataract is about 1/3 of the price in England or Sweden and the clinic has insurance, of course.
If you would like to know more about cataract operations, please contact me by my magazine email address.