Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Emma Has Cataract Surgery

As I write, Emma's resting quietly on the bed next to me in a hotel in Denver. She had cataracts removed and a lens implant placed in her left eye this morning with Dr. Chavkin of the Veterinary Referral Clinic of Colorado (VRCC). According to Dr. Chavkin, "The surgery went well. It was as close to textbook as it could have been. The lens implant fit perfectly: just like it was meant for her."

I breathed a sigh of relief. While I was optimistic about the procedure and Emma's ability to withstand the surgery, I know there is a greater risk with cataract surgery in Boston Terriers. There is a 90% success rate with most dog breeds and a 70% success rate in Bostons. As Dr. Chavkin explained, the surgery itself may be highly successful, but there seem to be more post-surgery complications. Emma's eye looks terrific this afternoon and I'll hope with good aftercare, hers will be a success story.

We will see Dr. Chavkin very early in the morning for a brief follow-up and then we'll come back for additional follow-ups at one, two, and four weeks. In the days ahead, Emma will be on numerous medications to reduce inflammation and fight possible infection. She also sports an Elizabethan collar to prevent her from scratching at her eye.

Now the impossible must be accomplished: keeping Emma quiet for two weeks. When I came to pick up Emma, the vet tech, Ann, smiled and said, "Emma's doing very well. She's back there (in recovery) acting as though there's nothing wrong. Like, 'What surgery?' " From my experience with Emma after her luxating patella surgeries, she's so sturdy she does act as though the surgery were a breeze. So, the next two weeks will be a challenge to keep her relatively quiet and her eye safe and trauma-free.

I marvel at what state of the art technology and well-trained fine motor skills can do in such a small space. Emma and I are grateful to Dr. Chavkin for, not only his tremendous expertise, but his thoughtful care. We're pretty excited about Emma's new gift of sight which will gradually become clearer and clearer over the next month.

For those interested in seeing first-hand a cataract removal and lens implant surgery, go to the following You Tube video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4JFmPU50kZY&feature=related

For more information on the Veterinary Referral Clinic of Colorado, go to: www.vrcc.com

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