Ophthalmologist Performs 44 Cataract Operations on-Island

  • Visiting Ophthalmologist holds 269 consultations and performs 44 cataract operations
  • Health Services Directorate purchases new eye camera and Optical Coherence Tomography scanner
  • New operating microscope greatly increases safety of cataract surgery

Visiting Ophthalmologist, Dr Anne Cees Houtman, arrived on-Island in October 2021 and, during his time here, held 269 clinic consultations and performed 44 cataract operations on patients selected by the Optometrist for surgery and specialist opinion.  Dr Anne departed the Island on 1 December 2021.

Dr Anne explained:

“My main purpose on the Island is to carry out cataract surgery. In addition we’ve done a handful of intraocular injections, pterygia (also known as surfers eye) and eye lid surgery.

“The temporary ‘eye team’ (Samantha Thomas, Bridget Henry, Jayne Adams-Duncan, June Constantine, Janice Yon, and Donna Clingham) are to be commended for the extra hours put in during the week – and Saturdays – to get this done.”

Eye camera/OCT scanner

In 2020, the Health Services Directorate purchased a new Nidek RS 330 eye camera and OCT (Optical Coherence Tomography) scanner, allowing Doctors to set up remote eye consultation plans. This has been helpful in assessing patients with medical retinal conditions like diabetic retinopathy, retinal vascular disease, and age-related macular degeneration.

Doctors on-Island have since been using the eye camera/OCT scanner to remotely send Dr Anne photos and scans for his opinion on diagnosis and management. Dr Anne gave about 100 virtual opinions – 55 intraocular injections were done following these remote consultations, saving vision for a number of patients with vascular conditions of the eye.

Operating Microscope

The arrival of a new operating microscope has greatly increased the safety of cataract surgery on the Island; without this improvement Dr Anne would not have been able to conduct as many surgeries.

What’s next?

The Optometrist, Dr Priscilla Brown, will see the final results of the surgery and continue to assess all kinds of eye problems e.g. diabetic eye disease and glaucoma. There will be new cataract patients to assess and many who have had their first operation may want to have their other eye operated on.

Notes to Editors

Dr Anne visited the Island in 2019 where he carried out 19 cataract operations. Dr Anne was due to visit the Island in 2020, but was unable to due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

#StHelena #AltogetherHealthier 


3 December 2021

St Helena Government Communications Hub

Telephone: 22470
Email: communications@sainthelena.gov.sh