Patient revisited on ‘Embarrassing Bodies’13/08/2012 02:58
In a previous blog entry we brought you the story of Caro, a 28 year old lady who had been suffering with an Arteriovenous Malformation (AVM) on her left upper eyelid for 8 years. It had got progressively worse, becoming bigger, lumpier and redder. Caro was struggling to cope with the negative comments so went to see ‘Embarrassing Bodies’ Doctor Christian, who referred her to Mr Omar Durrani, a specialist Oculoplastic and Orbit Consultant Surgeon.
In the last program, after an examination and numerous tests, Mr Durrani presented one option as being major surgery that would solve the problem but ran a 30% risk of damage to Caro’s eyesight. This was a lot for Caro to take in so she took some time to weigh up the pros and cons. Six months later, Caro was ready to face the risks and have the growth removed.
Before she can undergo the surgery to remove the malformation, she needs to have an Embolisation procedure. This involves sealing and blocking the problem blood vessels in her eye by filling them with a special substance called Onyx. Once the substance has hardened, it makes the blood vessels much easier to surgically remove in the subsequent operation. This is potentially lifesaving as it will drastically reduce the risk of uncontrolled blood loss when the growth is removed by Mr Durrani in the second procedure.
With the blood vessels now filled with Onyx, effectively, Caro’s malformation is now a solid lump ready for surgical removal.
In June 2012, surgery is planned to remove the growth and get Caro’s eye looking and functioning normally. This is serious surgery and Caro will be in theatre with Mr Durrani for over 4 hours. He makes an incision in the malformation and proceeds to remove all the hardened blood vessels. There are dozens of nerves, 6 muscles and an eyeball in the space Mr Durrani has to work in. It leaves little room for manoeuvre or margin for error. Having removed the final blood vessel, all that’s left for Mr Durrani to do is to stitch up Caro’s eyelid and hope that the sight hasn’t been damaged. This cannot be confirmed until the following day when the dressing is removed.
Caro comes back to see Dr Christian in the clinic and is pleased to report no loss of vision. Mr Durrani plans to let it heal completely and then do some cosmetic work to straighten it all out. Caro is delighted and has no regrets as she feels more confident to go out without her eye covered up.
See Caro’s journey in the full episode at: http://www.channel4.com/programmes/embarrassing-bodies/4od#3387835