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Emma Davies

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From the moment I stepped through the door and spoke with the first receptionist on my assessment visit, to saying goodbye to the second receptionist I met at the 1 month check-up, my treatment by the St James Team was, without exception, professional, collaborative and a pleasure.

James Ball, was friendly, engaging and willing to discuss all concerns. Nothing seemed too much trouble.

I have worn contact lenses since I was 18 to correct my short sightedness. I put them in first thing in the morning and taking them out was the last thing I did at night. Even during extensive periods of travelling with work, on long distant flights wearing contact lenses for me was never a problem (I never went out in my glasses, they went hand in hand with pyjamas and chill out days at home)…until, in my late forties, I couldn’t see to do detailed close up things e.g. hand sewing and was finding myself taking my lenses out and putting my glasses on to watch the television at the same time which seemed crazy (and back to front because at this age I should be putting reading glasses on to sew)…I went to St James expecting, if I was suitable, to have both my eyes lasered to correct my short sightedness at the expense of then having to wear reading glasses (which without my contact lenses in, at this point I didn\’t actually need). The optometrist was so pleasant and after checking my vision, and taking measurements of my eyes suggested that I may be a candidate for Laser Blend Vision (St James is one of the few UK clinics that offer this technique – the laser algorithm are different to correct the vision). The consultant surgeon Mr James Ball discussed it further with me, including what it would mean as my eyes continue to age.

The surgery was painless (again the nurses and technicians supporting James Ball were so friendly at putting me at my ease), my dominant right eye was corrected for distance and my left eye was left as it was. The next day I went back (19hrs post op) and had 20:20 vision. For 48hrs I had a sensation similar to be light headed. One week later my combined vision took me to the bottom of the chart (better than 20:20 and certainly better than anything my glasses or contact lenses had achieved over the years). I still had a conscious perception that each eye was overlaying a differently focussed image, although clearly the overall vision was excellent. At the one month check, my brain has completely adapted to my left eye seeing close up and right eye distance. I didn’t have the 3 month check as my healing and outcome was without concern at 1 month and I was discharged.

James Ball saw me at every visit, nothing was too much trouble including sending me details and follow up emails should I be concerned about anything. The best outcome for my eyesight was his only concern.

There is no sales team at St. James, and no assumption that I would go there to have the surgery (or even approach to book a second appointment) just a handshake on my way out and a comment to ask the reception for the cost if I was going to consider it, but after my assessment visit experience I wouldn’t have considered going anywhere else.

Don’t expect plush surroundings though…the Unit is in St James Hospital but very close to the entrance of the Chancellor Wing so convenient.

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