Prof Muhtaseb’s work in Swansea has attracted significant interest from the print and broadcast media. This arises from his efforts in establishing a brand new service for the local population, providing the latest techniques in corneal surgery that are improving patients’ vision and ability to function
Me and my operation: How a doughnut in my eye cured my blurred vision.
Around 30,000 Britons are affected by the eye disease keratoconus, which causes distorted and blurred vision. Beckie Newton, 26, a full-time mother of one from west Wales, had her sight restored with a new implant. She tells CAROL DAVIS her story.
About four years ago, when I was working for a car dealership, colleagues commented that I sat with my face almost touching the computer screen. My fiance, Owain, was also concerned about how close I’d sit to the TV – I’d be just 18in from it. So I went to a High Street optician who tested my eyes, but didn’t give me glasses. He didn’t say what he thought it was, but sent me to my GP, who referred me to an eye specialist, again without explanation.
South Wales Evening Post 19/03/2010
Students learn vital lesson that communication is key
A PIONEERING surgical procedure on a Swansea Metropolitan University academic has initiated a guest lecture on the importance of communications between medics and patients.
Consultant Ophthalmic and Cornea surgeon, Mr Mohammed Muhtaseb, visited the university’s Townhill campus this week to talk to students.
The visit follows a unique operation performed by Mr Muhtaseb on the head of the Centre for Psychology and Counselling at Swansea Met, Professor Ann Edworthy.
Professor Edworthy underwent the surgery in 2008 to rectify a problem with her sight. She was so impressed with the surgeon’s communication skills she invited him to the university to talk to students.
Professor Edworthy said: “I was overwhelmed with the level of communication I received from Mr Muhtaseb. He would spend hours explaining the procedure to me, contacting me whatever way he could via emails and telephone calls. I feel this communication between patient and medic is crucial and I wanted my students to understand its importance to help them with their studies”.
BBC News Channel 15/05/2009
Pioneering eye op for schoolboy
A boy whose sight had deteriorated so badly he could no longer play rugby is making good progress after undergoing pioneering surgery. The corneas in Daniel Beresford’s eyes changed shape due to a degenerative disorder known as Keratoconus.
The 11-year-old from Sketty in Swansea has had special implants inserted by eye expert Mohammed Muhtaseb at the city’s Singleton Hospital. He said the case had interested eye surgeons around the world. Daniel’s father Richard said when his son first started developing problems with his eyes about three years ago it was initially put down to some bad bouts of hayfever. But a visit to a local opticians found that the problem was far worse and the pain he was suffering was having a big impact on his life day-to-day.
Daily Mail 12/05/09
Cataract op that means I can throw my reading glasses away
How pioneering ‘double lens’ surgery transformed one woman’s life
Every year 400,000 Britons undergo cataract surgery, having the damaged lens in their eye replaced with a plastic one.
However, they often need reading glasses afterwards. Ann Edworthy, 50, a lecturer from Swansea, was one of the first to have a new ‘piggyback’ lens, which restores sight completely.
She tells Daily Mail’s CAROL DAVIS her story, and her surgeon explains the procedure.
As a student, I used to suffer from really sore eyes after long spells of reading. My optician diagnosed congenital cataracts – a partial clouding over of the lens in both my eyes since birth. While I didn’t need any treatment then, he warned me they could cause sight problems later in life.
Two years ago, I noticed that when I looked at distant objects, it was as though there was a milky film on my left eye – I couldn’t see clearly, and it felt as if it was covered in cling film; I wanted to rub it all the time.
By chance, one of my students mentioned she’d been really happy with the treatment from a local eye surgeon. So, as I had private health insurance, I asked my optician for a referral to him. The surgeon, Mohammed Muhtaseb, explained that as well as the cataracts I’d had from birth, there was another cataract growing in my left eye, something that tends to happen with age.
He said he could operate to remove them, replacing each cloudy lens with a clear, artificial one. I’d have to choose which kind of replacement lens I wanted – one for reading or one for seeing at a distance. Whatever I chose, I’d have to wear glasses for the other. I couldn’t bear the thought of wearing glasses for the rest of my life. But I had no choice, as the cataracts meant I was now struggling to read, while in dim light I couldn’t see at all.
So last April I had operations to remove the cataracts and replace them with artificial lenses. Afterwards, I could see for miles because the cloudiness in my vision had gone. But I hated the reading glasses I had to use: when I was lecturing, I’d have to put them on to read, and then take them off to look at the students. Changing focus all the time made me feel queasy. Then, in October, Mr Muhtaseb told me about a brand-new lens – the piggyback, so-called because it is implanted on top of, and works in tandem with, existing artificial lenses, meaning I would be able to focus on both distant objects and close print.
Report from South Wales Evening Post, July 26th 2007. Photo used by kind permission
City Hospital Leads Way In Eye Surgery
The work of a pioneering surgeon is proving a real eye-opener for Swansea patients who could barely see.
New treatments are being offered on the NHS to people with severe or complicated eye conditions.
It is down to the work of Singleton Hospital – based Mohammed Muhtaseb, consultant opthalmic and cornea surgeon, who is one of a handful of UK specialists trained in cornea and refractive surgery. Since he started in 2007, patients have been offered highly specialist treatment when laser vision correction was unsuitable.
Bricklayer Mark Evans, aged 36 from Cwmdu, could see nothing but a blurred outline of someone sitting only a few feet away. He was diagnosed with the condition astigmatism, which means his vision was blurred by an irregularly shaped cornea. Mr Evans was so shortsighted the optical power of his eye was measured at -22 dioptres. But now his vision is almost perfect (-1 dioptre) after he had a special lens placed behind the iris of each eye. Following two operations, which took less than an hour to carry out on two different days at Singleton’s day surgery unit, his vision has been completely transformed.
“I’ve needed glasses since I was five and they were the thick, bottle – bottom types,” he said. “I used ordinary contact lenses for a while, but I over – wore them and they damaged my eyes, so I had to go back to glasses. Since having these new contact lenses, my eyesight has been marvellous. In both cases the treatment was carried out very quickly. After one of them, I went straight to Birmingham to see Lionel Ritchie in concert because I felt so great.”
Report from South Wales Evening Post, January 2nd 2008. Photo used by kind permission
Precious Gift Is In Sight For More
The gift of sight is something many of us take for granted. But when your life is all a blur, without wearing a pair of spectacles it’s an entirely different story – as Fforestfach – based Lynda Wiberge knows only too well.
Since she was just a 14 year old schoolgirl, she has had to look at the world through glasses. But she was so determined to live without them that when she saw an advert for laser surgery, she went across the Severn Bridge for treatment – but it went wrong.
For years she has suffered blurred vision. But now she, along with a number of other Swansea patients, is being given fresh hope of a brighter future thanks to the pioneering work of Singleton Hospital based eye expert Mohammed Muhtaseb. Miss Wiberge, aged 53, said she thought corneal scarring would be removed from her eye as part of laser surgery. But just minutes after the procedure, at the day surgery unit opposite Singleton Hospital, she said she was amazed by it’s effects.
She said: “It’s absolutely wonderful”. “I could’nt see without my glasses because it was all blurred, but now I can read without my glasses. I am shocked because I thought I was having the scarring taken off. I thought I would have to go back to glasses – but now I’m ecstatic.”
“Mr Muhtaseb’s wonderful – it is’nt even stinging.”
She added: “I only had laser treatment so I would not wear glassed and because I had hazy vision – I hated glasses.” Mr Muhtaseb said he hoped the work would help Singleton Hospital become the regional centre for laser procedures of this kind.
Since the consultant opthalmic and cornea surgeon started at the Swansea site back in 2006, patients have been offered highly specialist treatment when laser vision correction was unsuitable. He is one of a handful of UK specialists trained in cornea and refractive surgery.
Mr Muhtaseb, who has trained in the UK and abroad, is developing a new service for the treatment of corneal diseases in Mid and West Wales. Only one lens implantation is being carried out each month. But now he is looking to transform the laser side of the service and prove it’s worth by showing the dramatic improvement that it can make to the transformation of his patient’s sight. Mr Muhtaseb said he and his team were making the most of the resources given to them.
He said: “Swansea Local Health Board said one patient could have treatment, because without it he could have lost his job.
“But because the laser company has a minimum callout fee, they were going to have to pay the minimum charge, so we got another two in. “Hopefully the LHB will consider the case in particular in the funding of laser treatment for corneal scarring.”
Currently a £250.000 Wavelight Allegretto Excimer laser – considered to be the Rolls Royce of such equipment – has to be hired out to the city hospital to do such work. But it is hoped in time there could be such a laser on site, which would also generate income for the trust through Mr Muhtaseb’s private work – helping place Swansea at the forefront of such work. He said: “If local health boards are willing to fund the treatment, it will make the case strongly for Swansea NHS Trust to buy a laser. “Most of the income would be generated from my private practice, and if other LHB’s fund the work that is coming through. “We are trying to get this and put Swansea on the map – I think it’s good all round.”