"I can even drive at night again"

Mr Nigel Barnes has seen great results following his eye surgery using new surgical equipment at Spire Southampton Hospital.

Mr Nigel Barnes first noticed he had ‘floaters’ in his left eye about three years ago. The floaters obscured his vision and drifted across his line of sight, making driving at night impossible and affecting everyday activities like reading.

At the end of 2014 he met consultant ophthalmologist Mr Newsom, who advised that there was a treatment for floaters called a vitrectomy.

A vitrectomy is a day case procedure that removes the jelly in the eye (vitreous humour), along with any floating debris. The jelly, or vitreous humour, is then replaced with a clear fluid.

The vitrectomy procedure was carried out using brand new 27 gauge vitrectomy equipment, which uses keyhole surgery on the eye. By using incredibly fine instruments (less than 1mm in diameter), no stitches are necessary and the eye usually recovers rapidly following the operation.

Speaking about using the new equipment, Mr Newsom said: “Surgery using a 27 gauge vitrectomy is an exciting innovation as it gives patients a relatively pain free post-operative recovery with rapid improvement in vision."

“One of the main things we use it for is to remove annoying floaters and it is proving to be very successful for our patients because the post-operative recovery is so quick due to the very small incisions we have to make with this particular procedure.”

“Patients generally regain vision rapidly and the eyes are comfortable and stable after the operation. We are very excited about this new equipment and we think this will set new standards of treatment in terms of vitrectomy surgery in the Wessex area.”

Talking about the procedure, Mr Barnes said, “My procedure was very quick and I was away from home for just six and a half hours on the day. My eyes recovered quickly and I was able to drive just seven days after the treatment. I can even drive at night again, which I haven’t been able to do for a long time.”

Mr Barnes, who was extremely short-sighted prior to the procedure, now considers he has very good vision.

“I don’t need to put my glasses on straight away in the morning and I can now see the clock, which I couldn’t before until I put on my glasses,” says Nigel. “I had a fantastic experience from the whole team at the hospital and I would definitely recommend it to anyone considering surgery.”

For more information about the vitrectomy procedure or a guide price call 023 8091 4471 or complete our enquiry form. You can make an appointment with Mr Newsom by contacting his private secretary on 023 8076 4976.

What are floaters?

Floaters are small pieces of debris that float in the eye’s gel that lies behind the lens. Generally the vitreous humour is a clear, jelly-like substance that fills the space in the middle of the eyeball. However as the eye ages the gel can separate from the retina and debris can float in front of the retina causing distressing shadows.

If you have floaters, it is these shadows you will see. They often affect reading and driving and can sometimes appear following cataract surgery. Often people will just cope with them; however, vitrectomy treatment is now available.

Mr Richard Newsom, Consultant Ophthalmologist at Spire Southampton HospitalMr Richard Newsom, Consultant Ophthalmologist

Mr Richard Newsom treats a range of eye conditions including cataracts, diabetic eye disease, glaucoma, macular degeneration and retinal disease. 

Read more about Mr Newsom.

To book an appointment call 023 8076 4976.

Find a treatment, test or scan available at:


Find a consultant

Use one or more of the options below to search for a consultant and link through to view their Spire profile.


Let us help you

fill out this form and we will get back to you:

Please select a hospital

We can call you

Please enter your details below and we will call you back.

What is the aim of your enquiry?

Please select a hospital

If we are unable to reach you by phone, please include your email address so that we can get in touch...

© Spire Healthcare Group plc (2016)