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Stevie’s Eye Watering Story!
26 October 2016
Stevie with Mike Rhodes before surgery
Stevie was a young rescue cat from Cramar Cat Sanctuary, it had been noticed that she had an unusual eyelid problem. Alice the veterinary surgeon at Cramar is married to one of Willows ophthalmology (eye) specialists’ Mike Rhodes, so she asked Mike to examine Stevie and help manage her painful eyelid condition.
Mike and the ophthalmology resident Carolin, went to the sanctuary to examine Stevie and diagnosed a condition called ‘eyelid agenesis’.
'Eyelid agenesis' is a birth defect in which the parts of the upper eyelids do not develop properly. In Stevie’s case the left eye was the worst affected (see photographs above). This condition leads to ocular (eye) pain and corneal disease because she couldn’t blink properly. Interestingly Stevie, despite being only 4 months old at initial presentation, was very grumpy and difficulty to handle and understandably so, because she was in chronic discomfort.
Willows were very happy to be able help this animal charity and little Stevie. Mike performed a relatively new surgical procedure which involves taking the lip commissure from the mouth and making a new eyelid from the graft and rotating it up into the area where the eyelid was missing eyelid (see diagram below).
Mike performed the surgery on Stevie when she was fully grown at 6 months of age. The lip commissure to eyelid transposition graft was performed to the left eye and went well. It was decided to perform a more conservative surgery on the less affected right eye – the upper eyelid was everted to redirect the hairs away from the cornea (see photos below).
Stevie's left eye the next day after surgery
Stevie's face the next day after surgery
Stevie recovered very well from the procedure and she now has the function of both her upper eyelids and there are no hairs rubbing on her eyes. Stevie’s temperament has totally changed and she is now such a happy friendly cat!
Stevie's right eye 8 weeks after surgery
Stevie's left eye 8 weeks after surgery
Stevie is now a very happy cat! The pink tissue on the left eyelid is where part of the graft sloughed but it is healing well.