Restoring sight with state-of-the-art technology

​Restoring sight with state-of-the-art technology

March 15, 2016

For 60-year-old Haseeb Sarwar* vision problems were affecting his everyday life. Sarwar had already lost sight in his right eye to a mismanaged cataract and, more devastating, was fast losing vision in his left to a developing cataract. After doing the rounds of local ophthalmologists, he finally decided to make the seven-hour journey from Jacobabad to Karachi to visit doctors at the Aga Khan University Hospital.

Cataract is the most common reason for reduced vision in people over the age of 40, and the leading cause of blindness in the developing world.  There are over half a million people suffering reduced vision because of cataract. It need not be, as cataracts led to a visual impairment that can be swiftly cured through surgery. Pakistan, according to a 2007 study, has over half a million people suffering from blindness from cataract issues which can be corrected provided the right treatment is available.

Sarwar was fortunate. An initial check-up was followed by surgery and even though his case was complicated, a skilled surgeon and top-of-the-line equipment meant that the surgery lasted under five minutes and delivered results that are set to last a lifetime. “Sarwar could not walk unassisted. When I first saw him he was constantly using the walls to help give him support and balance. In the developed world he would have been declared legally blind,” said Dr Irfan Jeeva, Assistant Professor, Ophthalmology, and Service Line Chief of ENT/Ophthalmology at AKUH. 

“The next day after his surgery, he walked into my office on his own and shook my hand! Just think of that, of what we can achieve for the thousands who needlessly suffer from this very curable condition. Almost all the ophthalmologists in my team are now using this machine and the results are very impressive,” he added.

Dr Jeeva used AKUH’s newly acquired high-tech, US FDA-approved, Centurion Vision System, which has been designed to optimise cataract surgeries. This cutting-edge machine constantly adapts to changing conditions in the eye giving surgeons greater control over the cataract removal process

For Sarwar, it means a new life. He is still overjoyed by the results of the surgery and relieved to be independent once again. “I thought I was going to go blind but thanks to doctors at AKUH, I can begin to live my life again,” he said with a smile.

 * The patient’s name has been changed to protect his identity

* The patient’s name has been changed to protect his identity


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