Skip to main content
By Dr Angelo Appiotti

Give Yourself a Gift: Good Vision

By 20 December 2021January 5th, 2022No Comments

A couple of days ago a friend texted me that while at lunch with one of her clients, the conversation turned to how hard it was to read the menu, as “it is written in such a small font”.

“I won’t have this problem for long though, I’m going to have eye surgery!” her client adds.
“I hope you haven’t made a decision yet” my friend then replies, “as I could recommend you someone”. Much to their amusement, it turns out that her client had already chosen the surgeon, and that surgeon was… me. But there’s more to the story. This client’s wife is actually a patient of mine and she says she’s very satisfied, also with the preoperative and postoperative care. As it seems, she was a bit annoyed at first, because she expected to undergo surgery right away and couldn’t make out why I needed her to get several eye exams to thoroughly determine the steps to be taken.

And well… I don’t mean to blow my own horn, but it’s Christmas and I think I deserve a little self-complacency, but mostly, I think that you deserve a present and that you might put eye surgery under the Christmas tree, as a gift for yourself. Speaking of gifts, I got a very special one this year, i.e. a story from the triathlete Valentina D’Angeli, a recent patient of mine sharing her experience.

The Experience of a Triathlete
To this day, when I wake up in the morning, I still fumble around for my glasses on the nightstand. Trust me when I say that I hope I won’t be giving up this habit soon, not only it makes me smile, but it also reminds me how we can make our life better with just a pinch of courage.

Let’s take a step back and look at the day I decided to turn around my life as a professional triathlete, engineer and woman. How did I do it? I had eye surgery to correct the high myopic astigmatism (over 10 diopters) that had affected twenty-eight of my life’s thirty-six years and that, alas, had forced me to depend on contact lenses and coke bottle glasses.

I had been thinking about eye surgery for some time but the turning point came suddenly during the swim leg of one of the most important races on the national triathlon calendar.
While I was swimming, I wasn’t able to distinguish the buoys used for marking the swim course and so to determine the right path to follow.
I felt so uncomfortable and indescribably sad for I knew I was going to compromise the race I had been training so hard for. ‘Never again!’ I told myself that day.
Two weeks later, I showed up at Dr Angelo Appiotti’s clinic. I chose to trust him with my eyesight because I needed a professional who had treated the most famous athletes from various sports. I knew Dr Appiotti could understand the special needs and difficulties of an athlete and a person who divides her time among computer work, gym workout and swimming.

Not Everything Will Go as You Expect
“I have good news and bad news”, were the exact words Dr Appiotti used during my first visit.
The bad news was that I had an early-onset cataract in my left eye. By then I had an over 16 diopters myopia and my vision was fuzzy and blurry. The good news was that my right eye was ready for laser surgery and that I could achieve excellent correction of my myopia and astigmatism for both eyes, even though two different procedures were to be used.
In other words, I would restore my eyesight fully if I chose to undergo the SMILE extra laser procedure on my right eye and replace the opaque lens in my left eye with an artificial one.

I was ready. I would complete the season and use the off-season break to undergo surgery and take care of my eyes.

Monday 8th November
Half an hour after undergoing the SMILE extra procedure on my right eye, I went back into the operating room to have surgery on my left eye.

I couldn’t believe I was already able to read many of the words coming up on the screen in the waiting room right after surgery.

The greatest joy came the next day at the follow-up visit. Looking out of the window, I was able to distinguish details and color shades on the trees in the park and read the license plates on cars.
An amazing sensation, like coming back to life, there are no words to describe it!

Today, after one month, my health has improved further but has not stabilized totally yet.
It’s been a crescendo of changes and sensations. The best thing is that I see improvements on a daily basis.
Light doesn’t bother me anymore. Every now and then I have some issues using the computer due to the new lens accommodation, but this does not prevent me from working long hours without breaks.

My life has changed in so many ways!
My eyes are no longer tired and dry in the evening.
When I ride my bike, the wind blowing through my sunglasses doesn’t bother me so much anymore. Plus when I go downhill I am able to study the turns well in advance, and that makes my ride both safer and faster. When I swim, a little bit of water getting into my goggles is no more a hassle!
In my everyday life I no longer need to squint to focus on things.
My posture has changed too. I feel more balanced when I compete and I get less muscle pain at work. I don’t need to lean my shoulders forward to get closer to the computer screen anymore. Instead, I keep it at the correct distance and my back thanks me for that.

Every now and then when I wake up in the morning, I still fumble around for my glasses on the nightstand. Then it dawns on me and I smile.