Mandy Liscombe, a grandmother from Swansea, had undergone laser surgery to treat her glaucoma. Having a family history of glaucoma, which causes pressure to build-up behind the eyes and can damage the vision, Liscombe had wanted to get ahead of this risk, to avoid possible blindness.
Unfortunately, Liscombe was affected by a rare side-effect – estimated to affect one out of every 1,000 people – leaving her eyes extremely sensitive light. Looking for new relief, surprisingly, the grandmother found herself in the sclera tattoo club.
After a number of unsuccessful attempts to treat the sensitivity, including colored glasses or contact lenses, ophthalmology surgeon Mario Saldanha, at the Singleton Hospital in Swansea, suggested tattooing Liscombe's corneas, which would then act like a pair of sunglasses inside her eyes.
According to the Swansea Bay Health News, Liscombe said the procedure was “fantastic,” adding, “Mr Saldanha has changed my life."
"The light-sensitivity had a huge impact on me,” Liscombe said. "It affected me when I was watching TV or when I was in the theater or cinema.”
She added she sometimes didn’t feel safe to drive in the dark, because once faced with headlights, her safety – as well as the safety of her grandchildren – were at risk.
Surgeon Saldanha said the problem was caused by the fact that light was now entering inside Liscombe's eyes twice, “after the laser surgery had created an extra, artificial opening.”
"For Mrs. Liscombe, we used a tiny, precise scalpel to create a pocket in the centre of the cornea, over where she had the laser. We then put in a layer of tattoo ink and closed the pocket,” Saldanha said. "It's like having a filter in the clear window of her eye but without affecting the colored part and retaining the artificial opening.”
Liscombe adds, “Mr Saldanha truly is a marvellous man. He's amazing."