St. Clair Veterinary Group started an ophthalmology service in 1996. This is run by Neil Geddes. Neil qualified from Edinburgh Vet School in 1987 and completed his ophthalmology training in 1996. The practice offers in-house ophthalmology case reviews as well as external referrals from other vet practices throughout Fife and Tayside. Currently there are only 3 other practices in Scotland offering a full-time ophthalmology service.
The ophthalmology service is split into a consulting and an operating side. The consultations cover all aspects of eye cases from eyelid and corneal problems through to more complicated lens and retinal issues. Consultations normally last 20-30 minutes and are arranged directly if you are a registered client or through a referring vet
from another practice. The use of advanced equipment including slit lamp biomicroscopes, indirect ophthalmoscopes and electronic tonometers allow early and complete diagnosis of most issues. Operating is done using a specialist operating microscope and micro-surgical instruments. The surgical case load is split fairly evenly between eyelid, corneal and lens surgery. Most lens surgery involves the removal of cataracts (lens opacities) and the implantation of new prosthetic lenses in their place. The cataract surgery is done using phacoemulsification, which is the same technique used for human eye treatments. We have invested in a new state-of-the-art phacoemulsification machine for our animal eye clinic. Most dogs have the procedure done in the morning, stay overnight as in-patients and are discharged the next day. Recovery time is normally 7-10 days, although we like our patients to have a relatively quiet life for a month following surgery. The success rate for cataract surgery currently stands at 90%.