Skip to Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital Primary Content

Skip to Navigation

Sight saved

December 9, 2016

When Dr Tim Williams, an electron microscopist at Monash University, noticed a shadow across his vision in his right eye, he knew he needed to act quickly.

Tim had previously experienced a retinal detachment, and knew it could potentially lead to complete vision loss.

“If I became permanently blind in one eye, I could probably still do my job but it would make it very tedious. It would be really difficult for me to work in the lab, conducting the very fine work we need to do.”

Tim is also a private pilot and loves flying. “The first thing that went through my mind when I noticed something serious was happening to my vision was what if I’m not able to fly anymore?”

Tim went straight to see his local optometrist, who referred him to Ophthalmologist and retinal detachment specialist Dr Jonathan Yeoh.

Tim was diagnosed with a retinal detachment and was booked in for surgery at the Eye and Ear that
same evening.

“Dr Yeoh was amazing from beginning to end. He was very thorough and there was no messing around about getting me booked in to surgery.

“All the staff I encountered exuded confidence, and were gentle and caring. I was made to feel as comfortable as possible about the procedure by Jonathan, the anaesthetist and nurses.

“When I was waiting to go in for surgery one of the nurses said to me ‘Are you bored?’ and then promptly arranged some mellow music for me to listen to before surgery.”

Tim said he felt perhaps a little too calm before the 45 minutes procedure – even though he knew he would be awake for the procedure.

“I had a lot of confidence in Dr Yeoh and team; everyone was so professional I wasn’t even too worried!”

Ten years ago, Tim had surgery for a retinal detachment while living in Japan, and said his experience at the Eye and Ear was smoother and less painful.

“In Japan I underwent a different type of procedure that left me with stitches in my eye that were itchy and irritating and I spent three days as an inpatient.

At the Eye and Ear, there were no stitches and I was back home the next day.”

Tim said the first week post-surgery he had blurry, wobbly vision but just one month after the procedure his vision had returned to normal.

“I could wear contacts again, I could work, swim and go to the gym, even fly a plane. I was impressed at how speedy the recovery was.”

“I realised how much sight is taken for granted – even after being partially blind for just a week.”

Tim had weekly post-surgery check-ups with Dr Yeoh, and felt comforted knowing that Dr Yeoh would always respond promptly to any questions or concerns.

“From start to finish everyone at the hospital was attentive. The team was so kind, professional, gentle and careful about everything that took place and now the vision in my right eye is even better than my left!”