Had it not been for Dr. Kirchner and his staff at CEENTA, I would still have cataracts that darkened and blurred my vision in both eyes. Instead, I can read without glasses for the first time in 15 years and see street signs clearly a safe distance away. My old pairs of glasses—one for the computer and one for distance—are sitting in a drawer. I am delighted that I will no longer have to spend hours trying to figure out where I left them!
I saw Dr. Kirchner for a second opinion because another eye surgeon told me that I could not have cataract surgery until my Fuch’s Dystrophy (another eye condition common in my family) was corrected. The other surgeon said that my Fuch’s symptoms would get worse if I had cataract surgery. Correcting Fuch’s would involve replacing a layer of cells in my eye with a graft from a cadaver and then lying on my side for two days to ensure the graft “took.” In 20 percent of cases, the graft failed. It sounded unpleasant and risky.
When I asked Dr. Kirchner if cataract surgery would make my Fuch’s worse, he said it would not be a problem. He explained that he had successfully operated on many Fuch’s patients by making a few simple changes. He prescribed different pre- and post-surgery eye drops, implanted a slightly thicker lens, and kept the laser setting as low as possible during the surgery itself.
You might think having surgery during a pandemic is unwise, but I was in an outpatient clinic, not a hospital. Every patient (including me) had to take a COVID test two days before their operation and the result obviously had to be negative. I wore a mask throughout my two-hour stay, and the staff wore masks, face shields or glasses, and gloves. I was protected from them and they were protected from me.
My operations were three weeks apart and on both occasions the staff were courteous, caring, and competent. During pre-op, I was given a series of eye drops and had an IV inserted, which did not hurt. During the operation, I was given light IV sedation that allowed me to follow instructions when necessary but kept me relaxed. I remember bright lights and the nurses’ instructions before the 20-minute operation began and Dr. Kirchner’s reassuring voice during it. I did not feel any pain. The post-op nurses gave me a snack, explained my discharge instructions, and wheeled me out to my ride home. It was that simple.
Nobody likes the idea of surgery, but I can honestly say nothing about the experience was negative. The office staff (specifically Lori), the pre- and post-op clinic staff (my nurses Shari and Tanya), the anesthesiologist, and Dr. Kirchner were all professional, knowledgeable, efficient, and attentive. I highly recommend CEENTA for all things eye-related!