If you’re worried about laser treatment or surgery, our buddy scheme can pair you with someone who has first-hand experience for a simple phone call or series of chats.
What is the buddy scheme?
Being told you need laser treatment or surgery to treat your glaucoma can be an overwhelming experience. Though you will be given information on the procedure itself, it’s likely that you will still have lots of questions about what to expect. Speaking to someone who has already had the laser treatment or surgery can offer much needed re-assurance and helps to make the unknown a little less daunting.
If you have any questions about laser treatment or surgery for glaucoma, we can put you in touch with someone (referred to as a ‘buddy’) who has already had the procedure. They can talk you through their own experience of the treatment, relate to concerns you may have and answer any questions.
Your questions about the buddy scheme answered
How long do people commit to being a buddy? Is it just a phone call before and after surgery, or is it a longer-term commitment?
Most calls are just pre-op and post-op. However, if the buddy and their caller would like to stay in touch then this is something that is agreed between themselves.
Can I request to speak to a buddy based on certain criteria, such as gender or age?
Yes, you can. If you would prefer to speak to either a male or female buddy, we can arrange this. If you would rather speak with someone from a certain age group, we also do our best to try and accommodate this.
What are the criteria for becoming a buddy?
You will need to have had surgery or laser to treat your glaucoma or cataract. You also need to be based in the UK. We would love to have more buddies to cover shunt surgery and laser, as the numbers are quite low. We’d also be very grateful to hear from new buddies who have had MIGS (minimally invasive glaucoma surgery) such as iStent, Hydrus Microstent, Xen Gel Implant and Preserflo Microshunt (previously known as Innfocus Microshunt).
Liz French, Glaucoma UK member
I cannot put into words how much the buddy scheme helped me. Speaking to someone who had first-hand experience of having the surgery was reassuring and made all the difference. The more you can find out about something, the easier it becomes to deal with it.