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31st March 2017

‘How an old friend helped me see clearly again’

It was just a chance encounter between two old friends who had met at university. But when Javier told Carlos of his vision problems, Carlos offered to perform surgery that would solve the problem.

Perhaps we should mention at this point that Carlos is better known as Dr Carlos Palomino, a world-renowned ophthalmologist. His offer to take a scalpel to Javier’s eye and fix the problem was nothing new – Carlos had done this thousands of times with great success – so Javier was happy to take him up on the offer.

Javier had first noticed problems with his vision two years ago. “I was having difficulties driving when it was sunny,” he recalls. “My eyes would get very red. I also had problems making model boats – which is a hobby of mine.”Meeting Carlos was a stroke of good luck. “I happened to meet Dr. Palomino, an old friend from the university where he was a student of mine,” he says.

Yes, you guessed it, Javier is also a doctor. A well-known plastic surgeon in Spain, Dr Javier Moreno needs clear vision to examine his patients and to perform surgery. “For me, it is very important to maintain correct vision,” he says. “I was examined by Carlos and he diagnosed me with cataracts.”

Cataracts are a common problem associated with clouded vision and increased sensitivity to light. In fact, cataract surgery is the most common surgical procedure in the EU. The operation is conducted more than 4 million times per year, and this number is expected to grow as the population ages.

Javier had no hesitation about having the operation. Not only did Carlos remove the cloudy lens from Javier’s eye, he implanted a new lens which gave his patient even better vision than he had before the cataract developed. He used to wear glasses for reading and writing but, since his cataract surgery, he no longer needs them.“I had an intraocular lens implanted in my eye and I can now read from 45cm and see into the far distance,” says Javier. “In practice, I don’t wear glasses at all. I’m very happy with the results.”

He is delighted with the overall experience and has no complaints about his outcome. Well, maybe one: “I have discovered many imperfections in my face when I shave which I had never seen before because I didn’t wear glasses while shaving.”

Once a cosmetic surgeon, always a cosmetic surgeon!

This article is part of a series of stories showcasing the value of medtech in ophthalmology.