Eye Surgery Ireland
Highly Trained Surgical Eye Specialists?

Our eyes are precious to us and there are checks we can make on our eye surgeon's qualifications before embarking on eye surgery. Ireland being a small country there will be a small pool of specialists to choose from. Cost of eye surgery should not be the main criteria in choosing one. If you are unhappy with your eyes at the moment and want to look ten years younger or simply throw off your specs think how magnified your unhappiness will be if you are left in a much worse state than you are in now. Will any amount of compensation make you feel better?

So what route did your eye surgeon take to get qualified?

  • First he/she will have qualified as a medical doctor before deciding to specialise in ophthalmology.
  • Completion of both a pre-registration year and a period of post-registration general professional training is undertaken in areas such as neurology or other specialties relevant to ophthalmology before embarking on their training at the Irish College of Ophthalmologists.
  • This is followed by 3 years doing basic specialist training (BST) in Ophthalmology. Eighteen months minimum into their training they are eligible to take the Associated Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Ophthalmology exam and if successful can put the letters AFRCSI Ophth after their name.
  • On completion of BST they now have two options:
    1. Higher Specialist Training in Medical Ophthalmology
      This training takes 12 months at the end of which they are entered on the Register of Medical Specialists in Ophthalmology by the Medical Council and are know as as Medical Eye Specialists. They can carry out minor surgical procedures and certain laser surgery. Their title when employed by the Irish Health Board is Community Ophthalmic Physicians.

      Higher Specialist Training in Ophthalmic Surgery
      The training covers both Medical Ophthalmology and Ophthalmic Surgery.
      and takes 4.5 years to complete with a further optional six months. They are then entered on the Medical Council's Register of Medical Specialists in Ophthalmic Surgery and are known as Surgical Eye Specialists. It is usual for them to have a sub-specialty in which they are expert e.g. neuro-ophthalmology, glaucoma operations, pediatric opthalmology, laser treatment or cosmetic lid surgery. Those that specialise in corneal surgery carry out Lasik and PRK treatment.

    So I think you would have to agree that Irish eye surgeons are very well trained. It must be difficult for them when we turn up with our print outs from the internet. However, I think it is healthy that we do so and take responsibility for our own well being. Surgeons are flying in from abroad, completing refractive eye laser surgery for example and flying out again. Is this good for you? This is where the internet is really useful. The Irish College of Ophthalmologists (ICO) wishes that all doctors performing refractive eye laser surgery were registered on the Register of Medical Specialists in the Division of Ophthalmic Surgery. Registration is not obligatory. The ICO encourages you to establish that the person about to treat you is registered and is working full time in Ireland. This would give you the assurance of the quality of training and that follow up and emergency treatment is available to you from the same surgeon or team as you started with. Having to start afresh if there are complications and you are in serious pain might be best avoided.

    How do I check that my eye surgeon is registered in Ireland?
    The simple sentences "Could I have I have a pen and paper here. I need to write down your Irish registration number." may elicit for you the information that they are not registered. Best to phrase it in a way that implies that it is perfectly natural to have it rather than as a favour you may be granted. Think of it like this. Who's eyes are they and who's eyes will they be after surgery? If you are left blind you won't be able to see to beat them with your white stick. If you are given the number you can check it here. As 'belt and braces' make sure the name then matches the name you have been given.

    You need to know that currently (August 2008) any doctor can do plastic surgery in Ireland. There is no legal requirement for specialist training. You or me can open a hospital if we wish. Irish surgeons are trained to a very high standard so make sure you get one of those to attend to you. I've written an article entitled Cosmetic Surgery Ireland | Finding Top Surgeons is Difficultthat may interest you.

    I hope this information is useful to you and that you take good care of yourself.

    So please read the writing on the wall while you still can. If you don't know what it says on the wall then scroll back up the top and read the banner.

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