Behind the scenes eye surgery St Vincent's Hospital Griffith.

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LOOKING SHARP: Dr Latimer after sucessfully completing cateract removal and lens placement surgery. PHOTO: Jacinta Dickins

LOOKING SHARP: Dr Latimer after sucessfully completing cateract removal and lens placement surgery. PHOTO: Jacinta Dickins

St Vincent’s Hospital is proud of their eye surgery team, and The Area News was able to sit in on a cataract surgery, in the hopes to lower fear surrounding eye operations.

The cataract surgery with willing patient Mr Colin Benton, was very successful, taking less that 20 minutes to complete.

Dr Latimer credits his excellent team of professional nurses and hospital staff who are “great to work with”, as well as varied play lists of music for ambiance.

“The equipment here is excellent, as our microscope has a video camera in it transmitting it through to our screen, which allows the team, and any trainee staff to observe the procedure.”

Dr Latimer now has permanent consulting rooms at St Vincent’s Community Hospital Griffith, where he consults in Griffith every week, two to three days and operates every week either at Griffith base Hospital or SVCHG.

“It’s great to have this happening here in Griffith, and the waiting list is quite short, with only two – three weeks wait for surgery” he said.

“We also have to option for patients to stay over night, so that’s something we are really proud of here.”

He was born in the UK, and having trained at Cambridge then completed a fellowship at Flinders University in Adelaide.

Dr Latimer moved to Australia in 2004 and made Wagga Wagga his home with his wife and five daughters, and is working out of rooms in Wagga but started consulting in Griffith in 2007 firstly using rooms at Albert Ravanello and OPSM.

Since the opening of St Vincent’s Hospital late last year, Dr Latimer has operated on over 200 patients.

Want to keep your eyes healthy? Follow these tips from Vision Australia!

  1. Have regular eye check-ups

Regular eye check-ups are recommended for people without eye diseases or specific risk factors. Check ups are recommended every second year.

  1. Protect your eyes from UV light

Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light is known to contribute to eye diseases including cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.

Protect yourself by wearing sunglasses with good UV protection, wearing a hat to reduce UV exposure. 

  1. Maintain a healthy lifestyle

Good eating habits combined with exercise help prevent diabetes, which is a significant cause of vision loss in Australia.

  1. Don’t smoke

Smoking has been linked to macular degeneration and can also cause cardiovascular disease, which may affect the eyes and vision.

  1. Protect your eyes from hazards

Protect your eyes with safety glasses when working where there is a risk of eye injury.

Sixty per cent of eye injuries happen at work and most incidents are preventable.

Follow directions to lower shields on machinery and wear safety glasses.​

For more information, go to Vision Australia.