I was pleased with how outpatient surgery turned out

Photo of a man trimming the hedges (Brand X Pictures / Stockbyte / Thinkstock)

Günter, 71 years old:

“When everything was over I thought to myself that I should have gone and had surgery much earlier.”

I noticed the first changes in my vision one Christmas: The candles on the Christmas tree suddenly all seemed to have two flames, which just couldn't be. After that I sometimes saw other things double as well.

At some point I decided to go to my eye doctor. He told me that I had a cataract and that it would get worse if I didn’t have surgery. But I still had some time.

My eyesight kept getting worse

Over time I started seeing the taillights of cars in front of me double. If I had covered my left eye I would only have been able to make out the license plate on the car in front of me at a maximum distance of about five meters. At about ten meters, I could only see the general shapes. When I looked using both eyes, my healthy eye helped compensate for the problems my other eye was having. I also noticed that my spatial vision wasn’t very good anymore. If a car was coming towards me, I had to turn my head to get an idea of how far away it was from me. And any light source would have a very big halo around it.

I was pleased with how outpatient surgery turned out

I got by like this for about a year and then I went back to my eye doctor. He sent me to a colleague of his to perform the surgery. This happened in 1994, when I was 51. I was asked whether I would prefer inpatient or outpatient surgery. I would have had to wait another three months to get an appointment at the hospital, but I didn't want to. I decided to have outpatient surgery.

The doctor who did the operation calmed me down and told me that I didn’t need to worry. I would be given a sedative and wouldn’t fell anything during surgery. But I did need to have someone drive me home afterwards. Before the operation, they showed me what the lens that was being implanted looked like.

At first I had to go in for regular check-ups

I had surgery on my right eye and after the operation I kept a plastic covering over the eye for about a week. At first I had to go to my doctor every other day for a check-up. I stayed home from work for four weeks after the operation.

After surgery, my perception of color was somewhat different for a while, especially blue colors. But that went away again. My vision is now perfectly normal.

When everything was over I thought to myself that I should have gone and had surgery much earlier. Then I wouldn’t have spent that one year with such poor vision.

Now I can focus on my hobby again

I really like to make films in my free time. Before surgery, I only shot films using my left eye because I couldn’t really use my right eye. Since the operation I can film using my right eye again. It’s amazing. I can see everything clearly: it’s just perfect.


Acknowledgment

Our real-life stories summarize interviews with people who are affected by the medical condition. Our interview partners have given us permission to publish their stories. We would like to express our sincere thanks to them.

The real-life stories give an insight into how other people cope and live with a medical condition. Their opinions and comments are not recommendations by IQWiG.

Please note: The names of our interview partners have been changed to protect their identity. The photos are of models.