Inside the Operating Theatre – W

Abbie Newbury (junior sister) Inside the Operating Theatre
(Image credit: Kris Askey)

As Inside the Operating Theatre on W returns, a little girl’s mum and dad hope eye surgery will help her be able to see straight

Cameras go behind the scenes and meet the staff (such as junior sister Abbie Newbury, above) of day surgery at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Norfolk, as Inside the Operating Theatre on W returns.

But be warned – this first episode (10pm, see our TV Guide for full listings) is not for the fainthearted, especially if you’re squeamish about eyes.

Ever since she was born, four-year-old Arabella Tysterman has suffered with a squint in both eyes and the operation to correct it is shown in great detail, which makes the ear operation and gall bladder removal also featured look like a walk in the park!

Arabella Tysterman Inside The Operating Theatre

Four-year-old Arabella goes under the knife in Inside the Operating Theatre on W

‘The worry is that, as [her schoolmates] get older and more aware, she could have the mickey taken out of her,’ says mum Heidi.

‘She’s had one operation, which wasn’t successful, and she knows she needs another one, but she doesn’t understand that it’s because her eyes don’t move like everybody else’s.’

Consultant ophthalmologist Stephen Byard attempts to put a stitch in Arabella’s right eye muscle to pull her eyeball into the correct position, and then he does the same again with the left eye muscle.

But to locate the muscles, Mr Byard has to cut through the eyes’ protective membrane.

The danger is that this may cause excess tearing or bleeding.

As little Arabella comes round, will the op have been a success?

‘I have a daughter a very similar age [to Arabella] and I can’t imagine operating on her,’ admits Mr Bayard.

‘But emotionally you have to detach yourself in order to perform at your best during surgery.’

TV Times rating: ***