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FAQ's

How do I get referred?

Mr Harpreet Ahluwalia is happy to receive referrals from a variety of sources viz GPs, optometrist, Artificial Eye Service, Consultants in other subspecialties etc. If you wish to make an appointment the telephone numbers are on this web site at the hospital of your choice.

What is an Oculoplastic Surgeon?

Oculoplastic surgeons are ophthalmologists (eye doctors) who sub specialise in eyelid, orbital, tear duct and aesthetic facial surgery.  Oculoplastic surgeons are trained to do many different types of eyelid and facial surgery, ranging from simple eyelid malpositions to more complex reconstruction involving the eyelids and surrounding forehead, temporal and cheek areas.  They understand the delicate anatomy and function of the eyelids and their surrounding structures.

Oculoplastic surgeons assess the health of the eyes and function of the eyelids prior to eyelid plastic surgery.  As dedicated eyelid plastic surgeons an oculoplastic surgeon routinely performs surgery in these areas and recognises potential problems.  Oculoplastic surgeons are trained to manage the complications of eyelid and facial plastic surgery which can involve the eye itself.  Oculoplastic surgeons have a professional society which helps them maintain a high standard of care, called the British Oculoplastic Surgery Society (www.bopss.org).

Oculoplastic surgeons are also known as ophthalmic plastic and reconstructive surgeons and oculo-facial surgeons.

Why choose an oculoplastic surgeon for surgery.

Oculoplastic surgeons are trained ophthalmologists (eye doctors) who understand how eyelid surgery can affect the comfort of the eye and the clarity of vision.  They are accustomed to working around the eye and face.  They understand the importance of maintaining the integrity of the eye.

What is the best way to find an Oculoplastic Surgeon?

You should look for a consultant oculoplastic surgeon who is a member of the British Oculoplastic Surgery Society and is listed on their website.

How long do I have to wait?

Waiting times for a routine non emergency private referral is usually less than 2 weeks.

What do I need for my first appointment?

A referral letter from you family doctor is required. This may have already been sent direct to the hospital. It is advisable not to drive for your first appointment as we may need to instill eye drops to dilate your pupils which may affect your vision temporarily. If you feel it is essential for you to drive for your first appointment then kindly contact us prior to your appointment.

How long will the appointment last?

The standard new patient consultation lasts up to 20 minutes. Some conditions are very simple and a thorough explanation can take only 10 minutes. Some complex conditions can take much longer and Mr Ahluwalia has usually identified these patients and made allowances for extra time. Follow up appointments last up to 10-15 minutes, but again can vary from a few minutes to 20-30 minutes. Mr Ahluwalia hopes that at the end of the consultation enough time has been given to fully explain the issues involved.

Will I need a CT scan or a MRI scan?

Conditions that affect the bony eye socket often need a CT scan while soft tissues are best seen on a MRI scan. It is not always possible to perform these tests on the same day. Mr Ahluwalia will discuss the results of the scan with you once the results become available.

What if I need Surgery?

The decision for surgery is not always easy and adequate time will be offered to ensure you understand what is involved. Once you have decided on surgery a suitable date will be offered in clinic or arranged with my secretary.

What is Consent?

Consent is a very important part of the surgical process. It is the process in which the patient and surgeon have the opportunity to discuss the planned surgery in detail and be made fully aware of the risks and benefits. A signed document outlining the procedure, risks and benefits is filed in the notes and a copy is retained for the patient.

 

What are Day Case, In-Patient and Theatre Out-Patient?

These terms describe the amount of time spent in the hospital.

A Day case operation is performed and the patient is allowed home on the same day. The patient is usually given a private room or day case cubicle.

An In-patient is kept in overnight following surgery. This may be for a variety of reasons such as co-existing medical conditions, social circumstances, more careful observation required etc.

A theatre out -patient is a type of fast track day case. The patient is not given their own room or cubicle. They arrive at reception and are taken straight up to the operating room when the surgeon is ready. Valuables are placed in a locker. This proves to be a very popular method with self pay patients who are having walk in walk out type surgery. This facility is only avaible at some hospitals.

What should I bring with me on the day of the operation?

The level of surgery and length of stay may dictate what you should bring. All patients may require towait a few hours before the operation. It is advisable to bring a book to help pass this time. We would recommend a pair of slippers and bathrobe. Patients staying overnight may wish to bring wash bags and toiletries.

Local or General anaesthetic?

Local anaesthetic involves injecting a solution around where the operation is to be performed, whilst you are entirely awake. It is usually injected in the operating room. The area takes a few minutes to become numb. The surgeon will not start the operation until satisfied the anaesthetic has worked.

General anaesthetic involves putting the patient to sleep for the duration of the operation. At the end of the operation either local anaesthetic is injected into the wound to provide post operative pain relief or the anaesthetist has performed a block.

Conscious sedation: a large proportion of our patients undergoing surgery under local anaesthetic are offered this technique. This technique helps to relax the patient and makes the local anaesthetic a comfortable experience.

Who will do my operation?

Mr Harpreet Ahluwalia would perform all private operations. Occasionally for complex cases he is assisted by another experienced surgeon.

 Who will I see after my operation?

Mr Harpreet Ahluwalia will check that you are comfortable and in a satisfactory condition to leave the hospital. You will be followed up in the outpatients department either by Mr Ahluwalia.

What if things go wrong?

Complications are fortunately quite rare in eye surgery. However they still can occur. The close post operative attention that you will receive from the nurses and Harpreet Ahluwalia would hopefully identify any problems early on so that they can be rectified. You are free to call Mr Ahluwalia at any time through the main hospital telephone for  any genuine emergency problems. Calls of a non urgent nature should be made during office hours with my secretary.