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21st September 2017

Surgery changed my life. I’m so happy I went for it

Giacomina was a little anxious about her first ever operation, until her doctor explained that it was the most common procedure in Europe

Giacomina Bruno had lived for almost 70 years without ever encountering a surgeon’s scalpel. But two years ago, she began to have problems with her sight. She struggled to see things that were close to her and her vision became cloudy.

With no sign of improvement, she realised it was time for action. Giacomina, who runs her own clothes shop and enjoys cooking and playing cards with friends, could not enjoy life through a fogged-up lens.

Her ophthalmologist explained that she had cataracts and advised her to have surgery. The procedure would involve removing her lens and replacing it with an artificial one.

Modern lenses are refractive – they can do the same job as spectacles or contact lenses. This meant that not only would Giacomina have clear vision again, she would be able to see better than she had in years.

“I was given the option of never needing glasses again,” she recalls. “So, of course, I took it!”

Still, having eye surgery was a little daunting. “I was a bit afraid because I had never had surgery before and had no idea what would happen,” Giacomina says. “But my doctor and his staff calmed me down. They explained what would happen, what type of lens I would have and how I would feel after the operation.”

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.

So how did it go for Giacomina?

“It went very well and recovery was almost immediate,” she says. “After the first check-up, just a few days after the surgery, my vision was clear – and it still is!”

Before she developed cataracts, Giacomina wore glasses when reading, cooking and watching TV. “I found it limiting because if I forgot to bring my glasses to a friend’s house I might not be able to play cards or watch a film,” she says. “The surgery has made a real difference to me.”

Many of her friends have had the same procedure and Giacomina says anyone with vision problems should waste no time in seeing a specialist.

 “My experience has been very positive – it changed my life,” she says. “I am happy to have good vision again and be able to get on with my life and my work.”