Receiving a Present of Safety

For nearly a decade, Jeanie Mohan suffered from a blocked tear duct on her right eye. “I would be working in the garden or doing something else,” the retired math teacher explained, “when suddenly a huge drop of water would fall down my face.”

While it was annoying, Jeanie was apprehensive about having a delicate eye operation yet consulted with Dr. Stuart Seiff, an oculofacial plastic surgeon at California Pacific Medical Center. In less than an hour using local anesthetic, he created a new drainage tract from Jeanie’s tear duct to her nasal cavity – and with no visible scar. “It was absolutely amazing,” she said.

Meanwhile, another longtime condition was limiting her vision – she had cataracts in both eyes coupled with a moderate amount of astigmatism, a common condition caused by eyes that are more oval than round. The greatest impact, besides nearsightedness, was difficulty driving at night because cataracts clouded the lens of her eyes, making vision blurry.

 

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Dr. Kevin Denny, now Chair of Ophthalmology at CPMC, conducted careful tests to evaluate the amount and orientation of her astigmatism, and the results demonstrated that she was a good candidate for lens implants (called Toric Lenses) that would neutralize most of that condition. In the spring of 2015, he then performed cataract surgery in her left eye, which went well. Two months later, during cataract surgery on her right eye.

“Her surgeries were a big success because she sees much better, both with and without glasses,” Denny added. “She feels more comfortable driving, especially at night, and her chronic tearing to which she had become resigned was resolved.” This great result required careful evaluation, consulting among physicians with different skills and formulating a plan “that is consistent with the patient’s needs and goals learned from extended conversations over time,” Denny explained, adding, “About thirty to forty percent of cataract patients will benefit from a Toric Lens. When combined with removing cataracts, it really clears up people’s vision, and it’s very gratifying to help restore people’s sight in such a dramatic way.”

According to Jeanie Mohan, it’s “like getting a present every single day. Being able to drive safely and walk without worrying about tripping makes me confident and younger. I feel so grateful to both of them every single day for everything they did.”