The singer of the Mexican regional, Diana Reyes, better known as la Reina del Pasito Duranguense, had suffered from vision problems for 30 years. As a young girl, she realized that her eyesight was not the best: “I was short-sighted. I was practically blind since I was a little girl and could not see the school blackboard”, said Diana. At the age of 14, after a medical examination with an ophthalmologist, the singer was prescribed “Coke-bottle” glasses. Eventually, Diana traded her glasses for soft contact lenses.
First Laser Surgery at 18
At the age of 18, Diana decided to undergo laser surgery to treat her severe case of myopia. Although the surgery initially allowed her to see clearer, the problem presented itself again eight years later. This time her myopia was so bad that she almost lost sight in her left eye. It was only due to a cornea transplant performed in the United States she was able to avoid losing her vision.
Diana commented that the cornea transplant was the last resort for her left eye, however, in the case of her right eye, doctors recommended against surgery. They were concerned that the technology available at the time would be ineffective and advised waiting for new technology to emerge in the future before undergoing treatment.
“I have myopia with astigmatism and corneal malformation, and it’s a problem that’s going to keep increasing over time until we find something that can stop it,” Diana explained.
In a situation as severe as this, Diana’s life gradually changed. She was forced to limit her daily activities and always needed help. The singer said, “I could only see shadows. I couldn’t see and simply going out to the street put me at risk of an accident. This situation frustrated me and gave me anxiety attacks because I could not even do my own make-up.”
Her situation continued to worsen when she was diagnosed by a clinic in the United States with severe cataracts, astigmatism, and an elevated graduation. The ophthalmologist recommended she wear scleral lenses, and after looking for the best solution, recommended she visit CODET Vision Institute for the lenses. Diana Reyes traveled from her native ciudad La Paz, Baja California to Tijuana to be fitted for the lenses.
An Unexpected Solution
Diana Reyes visited us at the end of January 2021. She met with Dr. Arturo Chayet, our Medical Director, to review her visual health. Dr. Chayet realized that her poor vision was a result of very dense cataracts. The cataracts affected her lens’s transparency and produced a very high myopia of 12 graduation diopters, which did not allow her to see beyond 12 cm of distance.
“With that vision, she wasn’t able to get on stage unless she was wearing contact lenses, but in the case of the right eye, she wasn’t able to see, even with contact lenses,” Dr. Chayet explained.
Diana Reyes was a unique case. Dr. Chayet determined that a simple cataract surgery would not be effective enough to repair her vision. Her situation presented a challenge. Her right eye had been corrected with laser surgery, which resulted in graduation changes and a very flat cornea, but the surgery had been performed over 20 years ago and was off-center. These conditions complicated the situation and made it difficult to correctly calculate the intraocular lens.
After examining Diana’s situation using a series of diagnostic tests, Dr. Arturo determined that despite being a challenging case, this was also an ideal case to perform laser-assisted cataract surgery with one of the most advanced intraocular lenses: the Light Adjustable Lens (LAL). CODET has been performing the LAL procedure since 2002 with outstanding results. The lens uses state-of-the-art technology that is unavailable anywhere else in Mexico and Latin America.
“LAL technology has an advantage. Any minimum graduation that has been left can be corrected within two weeks without the need to return to the operating room. This is thanks to the adjustable treatment by light,” Dr. Chayet remarked.
The situation in Diana’s left eye was different. Due to the cornea transplant she had received, the cornea was more curved, so it required a different intraocular lens than the one that was going to be implanted on her right eye. Despite being a different lens, it was not going to be a problem to find since CODET carries about 500 intraocular lenses with different types of graduation available at all times.
Hearing this news from the doctor and having lost all hope for an effective surgery on her right eye due to several refusals by different clinics in the United States and Mexico City, Diana Reyes was filled with faith and hope and decided to embrace this opportunity.
The Big Day
On Monday, February 22, 2021, the day of surgery arrived. At noon it was time for one of the most anticipated moments for the singer: surgery that could restore vision in her right eye.
Dr. Arturo Chayet performed the surgery. He initiated the procedure guided by help from a laser beam and ultrasound. The doctor began by making a small 2-millimeter incision in the eye. The next step was to remove the opaque lens that caused the cataract, dividing it into several pieces so it could be easily removed through the incision site. Having removed the damaged lens from the eye, it was time to replace it with a lens equal in power to the natural lens of the eye. Dr. Chayet placed the Light Adjustable Lens of 12 diopters.
Just 10 minutes after entering the surgery room and after a successful laser-assisted cataract surgery with the Light Adjustable Lens, Diana Reyes’ right eye regained her vision. It went from having a 20/400 vision to having a 20/40 vision. The singer was now able to regain the independence she so desired.
Two weeks later, on March 8, 2021, Diana returned to CODET for her second cataract surgery. This time the surgery was on her left eye and resulted in vision that is now 20/25. Today, after three Light Adjustable Lens adjustments, the singer has better vision than she had when she was born.
Treatment Options and Expertise Affect Outcomes at CODET Vision
Dr. Chayet explained that the Light Adjustable Lens procedure itself is a very quick and simple one. There are no injections and no general anesthesia required, just eye drops. Diana was fully awake during the surgery, which is one of its great advantages as it reduces post-treatment recovery time.
However, for as effective as the LAL procedure is, Dr. Chayet stressed that the most important factor that influences outcomes is to select the correct type of surgery to perform and use the correct Intraocular lens, both of which we specialize in here at CODET.
After experiencing this life-changing experience, the singer expressed her happiness and gratitude: “Arturo Chayet not only gave me back my sight, he confirmed that I was never wrong to retain faith and hope in regaining my vision.”
Dr. Chayet commented: “It was a great honor for us to have helped someone like Diana Reyes to fulfill her dream of regaining her vision. Restoring the quality of life and hope of the patient is one of our greatest joys. Every patient is like part of our family to us and it shows in our special patient-doctor relationships.”
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