New NHS eye clinic reaches 1,000 procedures in just months

Experts at a new Optegra eye health clinic, purely offering NHS cataract surgery have performed their 1,000th surgery on 85-year-old local lady and am-dram costume enthusiast, Margaret Skeet.
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Margaret, who has lived in Brighton for 70 years and now lives in Southwick, was delighted to be this landmark patient as well as having new, clear vision.

Having spent her career working at a convent in Brighton, conducting secretarial duties for the Mother Superior and other sisters, Margaret has continued to rely on computers for her interests into retirement.

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All of that was becoming more challenging with the cloudy vision she was suffering as a result of having cataracts in both eyes.

Clinic Manager Julia Warnes (l), patient Margaret Skeet and Surgeon Massimo Sibilio (r)Clinic Manager Julia Warnes (l), patient Margaret Skeet and Surgeon Massimo Sibilio (r)
Clinic Manager Julia Warnes (l), patient Margaret Skeet and Surgeon Massimo Sibilio (r)

Following her operation at Optegra Eye Clinic Brighton, Margaret said: “My vision now is amazing. On the computer, everything is so much brighter and larger, I could not believe it when I put the computer on. I think I will even be able to read this without glasses at all once I have my second eye treated, it is marvelous!”

In addition to enjoying a clearer computer screen, Margaret is looking forward to helping more with another hobby, which is coordinating the amateur dramatics costumes for Brighton Little Theatre.

She said: “We gather all the elements of the costumes and then fit them all onto the actors. They might need alterations, which I used to do but I have been held back by my eyes. So now I am an ‘assistant’ but can’t wait to be able to be much more useful with my new, clear eyesight.

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When Margaret was first diagnosed with cataracts she was referred to Optegra and was seen just weeks later. “When I first went to Optegra I was amazed and impressed – it is so bright and immaculate and everyone was so friendly and amazing.”

After thorough diagnostic testing, Margaret was treated by Mr. Massimo Sibilio, consultant ophthalmic surgeon at Optegra Eye Clinic Brighton.

He said: “One in three adults will go on to have cataract surgery, and it can cause cloudy vision, glare from lights, blurred vision – all of which can really impact on day-to-day enjoyment of life. The only option is surgery, and so there is a large waiting list.

“We are delighted to have this clinic in Brighton where we can treat patients within six weeks of referral – and it is so fulfilling to see the difference this procedure can make for patients like Margaret. We are so pleased to have treated so many peoples already, and look forward to treating many more.”

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Following her treatment, Margaret said: “I was quite nervous as you just don’t know what to expect, but there was no rush at all, everyone was so kind it made me feel calm. The operation was completely painless and so quick, it felt like just five minutes, and after half an hour I was on my way home! I noticed the difference that very day. In fact, my vision has been getting clearer every day, and here I am 30 days on and I can see far in the distance, my garden looks so bright and clear, I keep thinking, surely my vision has reached its peak now?!”

Optegra Eye Clinic Brighton is set up to support the NHS and help reduce waiting lists for cataract patients. All local people, if diagnosed, can request that their optometrist refers them to Optegra which commits to just a six week wait for treatment. Find out more at Optegra Eye Clinic Brighton

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