CCH Enhancing Access to Cataract Surgery and Ophthalmology Care
Cataract surgery is one of the
most common surgical procedures offered at Cornwall Community Hospital (CCH),
where we have a dedicated team of expert nurses and ophthalmologists who
perform cataract and eye trauma surgeries using state of the art equipment and
Dr. Tarek Youssef, an
ophthalmologist at CCH who specializes in cataract surgery, says having the
procedure done promptly, once it becomes a problem, is important to make sure
it doesn’t get worse.
“Normally, the lens of your eye
is clear, but a cataract causes the lens to become cloudy, which eventually
affects your vision. At that point we would suggest cataract surgery, which is
a procedure to remove the lens of your eye and replace it with an artificial
lens,” explains Dr. Youssef.
Hospital cataract surgery is an OHIP
covered outpatient procedure. The surgeon uses a special microscope to see your
eye. They create tiny incisions to reach the clouded lens, which is prepped
with a tool and suctioned out for removal. Finally, a small, rolled-up
intraocular lens is inserted that will slowly and gently unfold in your eye.
Most hospitals and clinics
perform surgery on both eyes on different days. In 2009, in consultation with
Dr. Youssef, the hospital implemented bilateral same-day cataract surgery for
situations when patients have cataracts in both eyes.
“The advantages of bilateral
same-day cataract surgery for patients include not having to come back for a
second surgery and not having to recover from two separate surgeries,” says Dr.
Despite the fact that cataract
surgery is an extremely common surgical procedure in high demand, it has
largely been impacted by the pandemic and numerous closures of operating rooms.
Prior to COVID-19, nearly 2,000 cataract surgeries were being carried out
annually at CCH; but only 600 cataract surgeries took place last year as
operating rooms paused non-urgent procedures so that staff could be redeployed
to other areas impacted by the pandemic.
“The good news is that bilateral
same-day cataract surgery has also proven to be especially effective as we
recover and ramp up from the COVID-19 pandemic. With bilateral same-day
cataract surgery, we can perform 28 cataract surgeries on 14 patients in a
single day, which has allowed us to efficiently reduce our surgical backlog,”
adds Dr. Youssef.
As CCH works to enhance access to
care following the pandemic, we’re excited to announce that Dr. Ahmed Asholi,
an ophthalmologist with more than 15 years’ worth of
experience, will be joining the CCH team next month.
Dr. Asholi will be specializing
in cataract surgery alongside Dr. Youssef, but will also treat diabetic eye
disease, glaucoma and different retina diseases.
“I’m looking forward to treating
my new patients at CCH and working alongside the staff and physicians,” says
Dr. Asholi, adding that he “also believes the move the area will be positive
for me and my family.”
Despite the challenges presented
by the COVID-19 pandemic, CCH performed over 4,900 surgeries last year and
today our operating rooms are open and running at full capacity.