Information for patients

Consultations

  • Having a referral letter will allow you to claim back some of the consultation costs from Medicare.  You do not have to have a referral to see Dr Kuzniarz, however you will not be able to claim any portion of the consultation costs from medicare without one.
  • Your GP, optometrist or other specialist doctor can provide you with a referral to see us. Optometrist and GP referrals are valid for 12 months from date of issue.  A referral from a specialist is valid for 3 months.
  • You will need to ring our office on 6102 1130 to make an appointment.  Appointments are not made by your referrer when providing you a referral letter.

Oculoplastic surgeons are specialist opthalmic surgeons dealing specifically with eye plastic surgery. An oculoplastic surgeon is an ophthalmologist who has completed further specialised training in specific surgical procedures that deal with the orbit (eye socket), eyelids, tear ducts, and the face. Oculoplastic surgeons are particularly highly trained on reconstructive surgery around the eye and associated structures needed after cancer removal or injury around the eye.

Yes, public patients can be seen for consultations at our standard consultation rates.

  • We actively manage our appointments to minimise the waitlist time.  Waitlist times can vary from between 1 week to 3 weeks.
  • If your condition is urgent, same day appointment is generally available for urgent patients.
  • If your situation is an emergency - please go immediately to the Canberra Hospital Emergency Department, open 24 hours.  Phone 02 6244 2222.

On your first visit bring:

  • Your referral letter
  • Medicare, Pension or DVA card
  • Current prescription glasses
  • Sunglasses are encouraged for after your appointment as your eyes may be sensitive if dilated for the examination.
  • Current contact details for your GP, optometrist or other specialist doctor.
  • A list of your medications and allergies
  • Please allow adequate time to find parking.
  • If you are a new patient, please arrive to reception 10 minutes early to allow us to take your personal details.
  • At your initial consultation, Dr Kuzniarz will ask about the history of your eye condition, examine your eyes and recommend the next steps for the management of your condition. Management may include surgery or other non-surgical treatment.
  • It is likely your eyes may be dilated to allow full examination of your eye/s.  If dilated, your eyes will be very sensitive to light and you will not be able to drive for between 2-3 hours afterwards.

You should not drive for 2-3 hours after your consultation if your eyes have been dilated.

  • Dr Kuzniarz will explain the reasons why surgery is required. He will take you through the procedure itself, explain the risks and expected benefits of surgery and the anticipated recovery time.
  • Any existing medical conditions and current medications will also be discussed and you will be asked to sign a consent form.
  • Dr Kuzniarz operates at Calvary Hospital in Bruce, Canberra Microsurgery in Woden and at the Barton Private Hospital. The appropriate hospital booking form will be provided for you to complete.
  • A written quote for surgical services by Dr Kuzniarz will be provided to you.

Surgery

Specific preparation before surgery or other treatment will depend very much on the procedure you are about to undertake.

After any eye surgery or treatment, you will not be able to drive home afterward and in some cases, you may be unable to drive for a period afterward. You should arrange for travel to and home from surgery or treatment as well as organise appropriate care for the following days/weeks.

For hospital procedures

In general, if the surgery is to be performed as a day procedure at a hospital, the hospital will contact you a day or two before the operation with specific instructions.

For patients taking blood thinning medications, you will need to consult with your GP, cardiologist or prescribing doctor regarding your impending surgery. Generally, blood thinning medications need to be stopped a number of days before surgery but this must be done in consultation with your doctor. Stopping these medications may increase the potential for cardiac arrest, stroke or cause other serious medical conditions.

For in-room procedures

We will advise you directly about the required preparations when booking your surgery or treatment.

The care for your eyes after surgery will vary depending on the type of procedure you have undergone. You will be given detailed instructions on how to care for your eyes and/or apply drops or ointment. It is important you follow these instructions carefully including any instructions on how to take medications as prescribed.

For cataract procedures:

After surgery your eye will be padded overnight. The dressing will be removed on the next day in our office during your first follow up appointment. The recovery period may take up to 5-6 weeks and your vision may initially be blurry, this is normal. Your eye may feel scratchy for up to 2 months, this is due to the clear part of the eye (the cornea) being slightly irregular over the main wound through which the lens was inserted into the eye.

It is important to use the prescribed eye drops regularly for 3 weeks. If you are running out of the drops please let us know. The drops reduce the rate of infections in the eye and also the redness around the eye.

You must report any changes for worse to your vision or your eye immediately. Although infections after cataract surgery are rare (1:1000) they are usually devastating, leading to the loss of sight or the eye. The highest incidence of infection is at 7-10 days after the surgery. Watch for increasing redness, swelling, pain or reduction in vision, these MUST be reported immediately. If you cannot contact our rooms, report immediately to the Emergency Department at the Canberra Public Hospital. Delay in treatment will result in a loss of your eye.

You do not need to reapply the pad once it is removed after the surgery. You may be asked to use a shield over your eye at night only for a week after the surgery.  If you require a glasses upgrade, you should wait till your last follow up appointment to allow your eyes to adjust after the surgery before visiting an optometrist for new glasses.

Dacryocystorhinostomy

Following a DCR procedure you may remove the eye pad on the following day. Patients undergoing external DCR (through skin incision) will need to have their skin stitches removed 5 days following the operation. This can be done by your GP or in our rooms. It is not uncommon to experience some blood spotting from the nose during the immediate 24-48 hours after the procedure. Severe bleeding is uncommon.

To reduce the risk of bleeding we request all DCR patients to refrain from blowing the nose, using hot water around the face, eating hot and/or spicy food and drinking hot beverages for 7-10 days after the surgery. All patients undergoing the procedure will have a silicone stent left in the nose. This will be removed in our rooms 3 weeks to 3 months after the surgery.

Pterygium surgery

Following pterygium surgery your eye will be padded overnight. When you remove the pad your vision will be very blurry, this is normal, it will improve over the next few days.

The eye will also be quite uncomfortable therefore taking regular medications for pain starting immediately after the procedure is important. Use of cold compresses to the eye through closed lids and regular application of the prescribed antibiotic ointment into the eye may soothe the discomfort as well.

The eye and the graft will be very red for several days. You will notice that the graft will swell after few days before it thins out and starts to become less red. Eye discomfort will subside significantly after the first 48 hours this is due to corneal healing. The entire recovery process usually takes 2 months during which time you need to use prescribed medications. Premature stopping of medications may increase your risk for pterygium recurrence. At times if the healing process around the graft is too vigorous a special medication may need to be injected around the graft, this is done in the rooms under topical anaesthesia

For care after eyelid procedures

After surgery, an antibiotic ointment will be applied to your eyes and the skin then your eye(s) will be padded for 1-5 days (depending on procedure). Your eyelids may feel tight and sore as the anesthesia wears off. You will be prescribed pain medication to control any discomfort. Please do not use aspirin and NSIDS based medications as these can worsen bruising and may cause bleeding.

If you feel any severe pain, call the doctor on the number provided immediately.

It is important that you keep your head elevated for several days. There will be bruising and swelling around the eyes which may be reduced by use of cold compresses 3 to 4 times a day. Bruising will peak in the first week and usually settles after 3-4 weeks.

Your eyes may be gummy for a week or more and it is important you keep your eyes clean as instructed. The prescribed eye drops and ointment need to be applied regularly after the dressings have been removed. Your eyelids may feel dry, may burn, itch, water and be sensitive to light. You may also experience temporary changes in your eyesight, such as blurring or double vision.

Your will be monitored closely for the first week or two and stitches will be removed at 5-7 days after surgery. Swelling and bruising around your eyes will gradually disappear. At this stage, you will feel and look much better. You should be able to read or watch television as comfort allows. Contact lenses should not be worn for about two weeks. After this upon initial re-use, it may feel uncomfortable for a while wearing contact lenses.

Most people feel ready to return to work after 10 days or so. You may be sensitive to sunlight and wind, sunglasses and a special sunblock made for eyelids may help with that. Infections in the skin after eyelid surgery are rare. However if your skin suddenly starts feeling hot, it is red or painful please let the doctor know immediately.

The doctor is very happy to take calls if there are problems or questions after surgery. You will be given contact details following the surgery for emergency contact.

Fees

  • We have standard consultation fees, with reduced fees for pension cardholders.
  • DVA cardholders will receive no out-of-pocket costs.

Full payment is required at the time of consultation. We accept payment by EFTPOS, Visa, Mastercard, cash or cheque. Unfortunately we do not accept AMEX cards.

If you have a current referral letter and Medicare have your bank account details, your Medicare claim will be automatically lodged by us for you upon full payment of your consultation fees at the appointment.  Your benefit will be paid directly into your bank generally within 24-48 hours.

Please note from 1 July 2016, Medicare benefits will only be paid directly to your nominated bank account.  Payments by cheque will no longer be available.

As well as Dr Kuzniarz's surgeon's fee, costs for surgery will include but not be limited to the anaesthetist's fee and hospital costs. We will give you a quote for the surgeon's fee and can provide you with guidance on other costs.

No, you do not need have private health insurance however you will be responsible for full payment of all associated surgery costs including but not limited to Dr Kuzniarz's fees, the anaesthetist fees and hospital costs.

  • Yes – a portion of your surgery costs are claimable through Medicare at standard rebate rates.
  • You will receive individual receipts for the various costs incurred, you can take your receipts to Medicare for your rebate claim.
  • If you have private health insurance you may be eligible for further rebates. Your health fund can provide further information.

Disclaimer: The information provided on these pages is for general information only and should not replace individual medical advice. Please speak with Dr Kuzniarz directly regarding your specific situation.