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Dunfermline woman becomes first patient to undergo pioneering eye surgery

A Dunfermline woman has become the first patient to be treated at a state-of-the-art eye surgery facility in Edinburgh.

The Edinburgh Clinic opened up its private Vitreo-Retinal (VR) service last month and Kim McInnes is already benefitting from its specialist services.

Facing a lengthy wait under the NHS, Mrs McInnes, 59, was desperate to be seen after being diagnosed with a macular hole which she feared would get worse if left too long.

"I was referred to the Queen Margaret by my optician and saw a consultant there and then got referred to Ninewells to see another consultant," she said.

"It was weeks and weeks and weeks I was having to wait and so I decided to use the Edinburgh Clinic. Fortunately they did this procedure that was needed.

"If it had been anything else, I would probably just have waited but with it being my eyes, it was very important to get seen to very quickly. I didn't want to hang around because it was causing me a lot of distress. I couldn't see properly and everything was quite distorted."

Mrs McInnes, of Whitemyre Court, underwent her surgery on October 6 and is now hopeful she is on the road to recovery.

"What happens is you get a gas bubble injected into the back of your eye and this stays in for a few weeks," she explained. " It was just a day procedure but then you have to lie face down for six to seven days so it presses on the back of your eye to seal up the hole.

"I saw a scan after the operation and it was incredible to see the difference. I am still not back to normal and might not go back to normal but it is not nearly as bad as it was. My distortion should get better but it is a lengthy process before it fully recovers but at least I know that it has worked as sometimes they don't work first time round."

The VR surgery which Mrs McInnes underwent is a primary treatment for common eye conditions such as retinal detachments, macular holes and diabetic eye disease – one of the main causes of decreased vision in the working population.

It can also be performed to treat complicated cataracts which, in normal circumstances, cannot be routinely treated.

The state-of-the-art equipment now available at the clinic means surgeons have a fully equipped facility allowing for all elements of treatment to be carried out, from diagnosis to aftercare and recovery.

Date: 22/11/2017
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