World’s first eye transplant
For the first time, an American medical team from the New York University Langone Health has successfully implanted a complete eye in a severely injured American.
For years, surgeons have been 𝐭𝐫𝐚𝐧𝐬𝐩𝐥𝐚𝐧𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐜𝐨𝐫𝐧𝐞𝐚𝐬 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐠𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐭 𝐬𝐮𝐜𝐜𝐞𝐬𝐬 to treat certain types of vision loss. On May 27, a US veteran, who survived a high-voltage electrical accident two year before, underwent a 21-hour surgical procedure in which half of his face was replaced. He 𝐫𝐞𝐜𝐞𝐢𝐯𝐞𝐝 𝐚 𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐩𝐥𝐞𝐭𝐞 𝐥𝐞𝐟𝐭 𝐞𝐲𝐞 and part of his face from a male donor in his thirties. During the operation, 𝐝𝐨𝐜𝐭𝐨𝐫𝐬 𝐚𝐥𝐬𝐨 𝐢𝐧𝐣𝐞𝐜𝐭𝐞𝐝 𝐚𝐝𝐮𝐥𝐭 𝐬𝐭𝐞𝐦 𝐜𝐞𝐥𝐥𝐬 from the donor’s bone marrow 𝐢𝐧𝐭𝐨 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐨𝐩𝐭𝐢𝐜 𝐧𝐞𝐫𝐯𝐞. These cells are known for their ability to undergo multiple divisions to create healthy cells capable of replacing damaged or dysfunctional elements. In this way, they optimized nerve regeneration in the graft.
While the doctors thought that the graft would only last three months, 𝐟𝐢𝐯𝐞 𝐦𝐨𝐧𝐭𝐡𝐬, 𝐥𝐚𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐞𝐲𝐞 𝐢𝐬 𝐢𝐧 𝐠𝐨𝐨𝐝 𝐜𝐨𝐧𝐝𝐢𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧, with direct blood flow to the retina, which is the area at the back of the eye that sends images to the brain. Although the 𝐩𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐞𝐧𝐭 𝐡𝐚𝐬 𝐧𝐨𝐭 𝐫𝐞𝐠𝐚𝐢𝐧𝐞𝐝 𝐡𝐢𝐬 𝐬𝐢𝐠𝐡𝐭, the doctors are very satisfied with the surgery, as there have been 𝐧𝐨 𝐬𝐢𝐠𝐧𝐬 𝐨𝐟 𝐫𝐞𝐣𝐞𝐜𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐭𝐨 𝐝𝐚𝐭𝐞. This is an incredible achievement, even if there is still some uncertainty as to whether sight can be restored after such a major procedure.
Further procedures and investigations are required to extend this operation to a larger number of patients. However, it already marks a 𝐜𝐨𝐧𝐬𝐢𝐝𝐞𝐫𝐚𝐛𝐥𝐞 𝐬𝐭𝐞𝐩 𝐟𝐨𝐫𝐰𝐚𝐫𝐝 𝐢𝐧 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐟𝐢𝐞𝐥𝐝 𝐨𝐟 𝐦𝐞𝐝𝐢𝐜𝐢𝐧𝐞.