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The best news about eyes & Birmingham

That you will read today from ...

The universal language ...

Twain saying 400 3... no translation or explanation needed.
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ESCRS Copenhagen

ESCRS Copenhagen 1200

Just returned from the European Society of Cataract & Refractive Surgery congress in Copenhagen. The sun was out and Copenhagen was beautiful. But more importantly, there were fantastic new developments and technologies to share and see with over 5000 other eye surgeon colleagues.

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The lose - lose NHS dilemma

Leamington observer nhs cataracts 400The government can't provide top notch, free and prompt healthcare with the current budget.

So, junior doctors, nurses and others are being told to do more for less in the NHS. So, health professionals are leaving the NHS for the private sector, leaving the country or leaving the profession. So the NHS pays private sector staff to work in NHS hospitals or pays private hospitals to do operations (especially cataracts). So the government tells the NHS not to spend the precious budget on private hospitals and staff. It's a lose-lose dilemma.

So what is going to happen? Either we accept that we won't be getting top notch, free and prompt healthcare or taxes have to increase or we will have to pay for the NHS services we use or we pay privately for healthcare ourselves. It's simple household budgeting: If we don't pay for it somehow, we can't have it.

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Laser collins 400So pleased laser eye surgery technology has progressed, pleased you're seeing well now Colin & thanks for the cartoon! 

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HC Fuller lives BBC 400Well done Heather!!! This girl can!

Heather wrote: "... I stepped into the 15.1 degree Atlantic Ocean at Stroove Beach, with the vast Foyle River to my right, the Innishowen headline to my left and in front, pretty much just horizon as far as the eye could see, other than a slim line where I knew Port Stewart was roughly straight ahead ..."

And we're so pleased that you could see across the bay and that you made it. And congratulations on raising nearly £4000 (to date) for Outdoor Recreation NI & The Royal National Lifeboat Institute (RNLI). To donate, visit Virgin Money Giving.

Read more in Heather's blog about her laser eye surgerywww.swimforportstewart.com/swimblog/an-honest-account-of-eye-laser-surgery 

Or about her big swimwww.swimforportstewart.com/swimblog/i-did-it The Times, BBC / Belfast Telegraph (with a great video of the event)

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New sign at the airport

Birmingham airport sign o1 410... as much use as a waterproof teabag to our patients going on holiday.


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Vision & ventures

Vision stairs Mark Wevill 400 1The vision must be followed by the venture.     Vance Havner
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Thanks for the kind words Geraldine


 So, you had 10 pairs of glasses before! trustpilot GMYou were very brave, 

and we're so pleased that it was worth it.

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Sea swim Port Stewart


Another succesful training session!

Well done Heather!


To find out more, visit:


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The best team

Life support training 400


Birmingham Laser team training

We're regularly training to use new & updated instruments, doing refresher courses & updating our skills or training on new instruments because we want to be the best & care for you the best we can. Most of the training we use every day, but we even train to do things we have never had to do, and develop skills we hope to never have to use such as emergency resuscitation.  

We are pleased to report that the resuscitation dummy Annie survived the day to be resuscitated again next time! To read more about this A-team, see: http://www.lasereyesurgerybirmingham.com/about

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Heather's big swim #3

HC Leamington Courier 400


Read about her big swim next month here: www.swimforportstewart.com and what she has to say about the laser eye surgery that will help get her to the other side: www.swimforportstewart.com/swimblog/an-honest-account-of-eye-laser-surgery

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Illumination & imagination

Swift lighthouse 400
We may look but not see. And we may see but not have vision.
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British Society for Refractive Surgery

bsrs 400"Thanks to the president of the BSRS (British Society for Refractive Surgery) for inviting me back again this year to talk to surgeon & optometrist colleagues about corneal inlays to improve reading vision." 

Mark Wevill

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1129 Hits

Heather's big swim #2

HC laser day 400Heather has had her laser eye treatment! You can read the full story in her blog: "An honest account of laser eye surgery" at www.swimforportstewart.com/swimblog/an-honest-account-of-eye-laser-surgery. But here are some snippets ...

"I was escorted through to a lovely waiting area, there, a lovely lady who I had met at the initial consultation, went through forms and put drops in my eyes. My surgeon then popped in to see me, which I have to say I wasn’t expecting, and it was lovely to see him so happy and calm ready to do crazy things to my eyes.

Mark and his theatre team all spoke to me and confirmed what they were going to do. They did my right eye first. Then it got interesting, from this point everything was like being at the bottom of a swimming pool and opening your eyes, and just seeing people and things above the surface. I could see the outer lights of the laser which formed two dotted circles. Cyber lights started firing up and whizzing around, it did all feel a bit like I was going to be beamed up onto the Starship enterprise, which only lasted (I think) for under 10 seconds. You can’t feel a thing, it is fine. After that (a contact) lens was flipped back over onto my eye, and oh my goodness it was incredible. I could still only see the light dots but they were perfectly clear, I could tell my eyesight was MUCH better already. The same was done to the other, and then I was finished. Probably 7 minutes on each eye I would say.

I stopped myself from high fiving the team as I had wanted to and after thanking them all profusely, sat down with my mother, who was incredibly relieved to have a daughter with two eyes return to her. I sat and looked at everything around me. I could see their faces, I could see the detail in the pictures hanging on the walls and I could read signs already, such relief, and an amazing feeling of joy. Do you know its relaxing too. Spending your day squinting at things isn’t relaxing at all, perhaps my face might have fewer wrinkles too now as a result as I grow older. Mark soon popped in to check on me and asked me to read the time on the clock (which I could!) and checked everything was ok and after being given copious amounts of eye drops and instructions on when to apply them, I was good to go, popped on my Ray Bans and waved everyone fairwell."
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We're so pleased that you're so pleased!

SP Youtube screenshot 400 1

Shona is so pleased she doesn't have to wear glases now and kindly agreed to talk about her experience. Click on this link to hear what she said: https://youtu.be/J8zxydAfBJs 

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Can you see the instruments during surgery?

Jean 800 3Some people see kaleidoscopes, others see stars, comets or coloured lights. But no-one sees the instruments and its not painful. So its not as bad as you think it will be!

Thanks Jean for sharing your experience and for drawing us the picture.
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Heather's big swim #1

HC twitter 2 400Heather is swimming from Donegal to Portstewart in July. It will be more than 13 miles and very cold. The swim will officially be observed and recorded by the Irish Long Distance Association (ILDSA). Heather says: "I will be raising money for charity and achieving a lifelong dream. Since I was a little girl growing up in Portstewart, sitting on the strand beach, twiddling the sand between my toes, I have looked across the sea to Donegal and wanted to swim to the other side. The swim is likely to be more than 13 miles long, as with the tides and currents around that area, I will swim quite a zig zagged route increasing the distance of the swim. I also need to take into account the fast flowing waters of the River Foyle and the River Bann which I will cross en route. But I have a training plan, and a lot of great friends and professionals on board to help me prepare myself the best I can both physically and mentally."

We are excited and inspired by Heather's dream and honoured to be on the team. Thank you, Heather for chosing us to do your laser eye surgery. At least you won't have to worry that losing your contact lenses during the swim ends the dream! You can follow Heather's laser story here or her swimming story at www.swimforportstewart.com

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Vision myth #9

Trump 1987 400Myth #9: Laser eye surgery is a new procedure with a short track record.

Fact: New York ophthalmologist, Dr. Steven Trokel performed the first laser surgery on a patient's eyes in 1987. And there have been many improvements in the lasers since then. But some things haven't changed since then, such as the "billion dollar" ego!

Mark Wevill has been correcting vision with lasers since 1996 (click to read more).


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You are invited!

Destiny Africa choir 400Would you like to help a charity that's building a medical centre in an orphanage in Uganda? Kampala Children's Centre gives orphaned Ugandan children a home, an education and the warmth of a family in such a loving way that they themselves become agents of positive change? Destiny Africa Children's Choir is an energetic dancing and singing group of talented children from KCC who have performed in stadiums, theatres, in front of presidents and prime ministers in the UK, the USA and Europe.

The Kampala Children's Centre has only been in existence for 10 years, but in this time a primary and a secondary school has been built on site and now a medical centre is being built which will serve the centre as well as the community. To raise funds to equip this centre, a gala performance and dinner is being held at The Forest of Arden Hotel in Meriden at which the choir will be performing throughout the evening with their usual vibrant energy and enthusiasm. Tickets cost £45 per person. Contact us for details & bring your friends to one of the best evenings of singing and dancing that you will see in a long time.

Read more about them at: www.destinyafrica.org

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French surgeons use a VR headset to help with brain surgery

Brain surgery 400Surgeons in France have used a virtual reality headset to aid them in a brain surgery operation to remove a tumor. The conscious patient was played a piece of VR software that activated certain parts of the brain during the surgery. This enabled surgeons to monitor the neural connections in the patient's brain while removing a cancerous growth. "In creating a completely artificial world for the patient, we could map certain zones and connections of his brain related to functions that we could not, up to now, easily test on the operating table," comments Philippe Menei, one of the neurosurgeons.

Performing brain surgery on conscious patients is a common practice and it is even more common during eye surgery. Did the French patient see anything unusual during his brain surgery? We don't know, but eye surgery patients do see interesting sights ... more later.
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