I Once Was Blind…

During Outreach 3, we held our Ophthalmology clinic at the Kikori Hospital. On the last day of clinics, I was offered the opportunity to shadow the ophthalmology team in order to gain a better understanding of the big picture (leading the Primary Health Care team, I spend all my time in the Primary Health Care clinic….).

The day started slowly, we did some pre-operation testings, recording their visual acuity, taking various measurements to figure out which lens would be the best fit for them and then explained the procedures… I got to team up with a very keen to learn local boy, he was great for translation into “Tok Pleis”/local dialect.

It was now time to scrub in :)
I helped our patient to put on the surgical gown, hat and slippers. I went brought him in the theatre and went to put my scrubs, washed hands, put on the surgical hat and mask. I was ready to watch :)

Bill Talbot was our one and only surgeon for the outreach, he skillfully performed 37 surgeries (28 cataract and 9 pterygium surgeries). This was his last day and he was ever so precise and amazing! The 30 minutes surgery began, the surgeon poured iodine on the eye to disinfect it, injected an analgesic into the eye, used a bit of suture to stabilize the eye and then started the cutting. He eventually reached the lens, pulled out a very opaque lens and put in a brand new and super clear lens in :) Only one cauterizer suture is needed, an eye patch is put on and the cataract surgery is finished!

The patient comes back the following day and his eye patch is removed. Oh the joy on his face when he realizes that he can see clearly again!!! Such a precious gift!

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