quarta-feira, abril 11, 2007

I thought that I would keep bitching about other people here for a while, just for a change, but I started to feel somewhat guilty.
Soooo, in what I think is a more proper way to conduct this humble journal, here it is: this is what I do. For a living, I mean. This is what i was doing yesterday. Oh, don't think too much of it. Probably a (well)trained monkey could do it - that's what I tell the residents, anyway, when they sit there for the first time, in front of the microscope, and the prospect of what they are about to perform scares the s*** out of them.
Do you know what a chick pea is like? Well then, there you have it. The cataract is something like a chick pea, in which there is an outer peel, transparent and very thin. The cataract, which happens when the natural lens inside the eye becomes less transparent and cloudy (because of age, trauma or eye disease, for instance), has a structure like that, which we call the lens capsule.
Very well then; what we do at the time of surgery is to cut a perfect and tiny circular opening on the capsule (hence the need for a microscope, for starters) and then insert a probe much like the one on the photo (which should be credited to someone, by the way, because I just carelessly took it from the web).
What this thing does is to deliver ultrasound waves to the lens material, and the result is the fragmentation of the lens into tiny little particles, much like dust really, which are in turn vaccumed out of the eye. And then an intra-ocular lens made of a very special plastic is inserted inside the empty little bag to replace it.
It usually doesn't take much more than twenty minutes, but there is nothing else in my life that can drain so much energy out of me in so little time. Even so, we always find the time to listen to music, talk about everything, and bitch (here I go again) about other people in the process.
All in all it's a very gratifying experience, especially on the first post-operative day visit to the office, when the patient gets to tell me how bright and colourful the world is now - and how he had completely forgotten about it. You see, having cataract is somewhat like wearing your Wayfarers all the time - inside your eye.

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