In a rare surgery, doctors at a Chennai hospital have done a complete eye transplant on a four-month-old boy by “gluing together” biological and prosthetic implants to restore vision. The boy had a congenital defect that led to the right eye protruding out of socket.
A conventional eye transplant involves transplanting the cornea, but a surgical team at Dr Agarwal’s Eye Hospital transplanted the entire cornea, sclera, iris, pupil and the lens of the eye, or anterior segment eye transplantation in medical terms, of the four-month-old boy.
“It has restored both the appearance and vision in the baby’s right eye,” said Dr Amar Agarwal, who led the surgical team. The lens and surrounding tissues of the right eye of Kailash — Dr Aggarwal named him after the third eye of Lord Shiva — were in such a poor condition that a corneal transplant would not have helped.
The new surgical concept, said Dr Aggarwal, came from his colleague Dr Soosan Jacob and was implemented on February 1 by a team that included Dr Gaurav Prakash and Dr Divya Ashok Kumar.
The surgery was carried out in two parts. “The biological cornea and sclera were taken from the eyes of a 50-year-old male donor and glued to the prosthetic iris, pupil and an intraocular lens. These were then grafted in during a five-hour surgery,” said Dr Agarwal.
Kailash’s parents, Kala and Govindarajan, who are farmhands and hail from Mambakkam village in Tamil Nadu’s Tiruvannamalai district are ecstatic. “We first took him to Dr Agarwal’s hospital in Vellore and were referred to Chennai,” said Kala.