Thursday, 14 April 2016

First ever corneal transplantation at a secondary centre

Shaik Bibi, 65, a mother of four from Tenali, came to LVPEI’s Secondary Centre in Sattenapalli with diminishing vision in her left eye after a cataract surgery 6 months ago. She was diagnosed with left eye Pseudophakic Bullous Keratopathy. She was further referred to KAR campus, Hyderabad for left eye corneal transplant procedure - DSEK - under local anaesthesia. She expressed reluctance to travel as she was dependent on her children and was living off her meagre pension money. "Hence, we decided that if the patient cannot access the benefits of the available facilities for corneal transplantation, the facilities can be brought to her," said Dr Pravin K Vaddvalli.

Sight restoring corneal transplantation surgery is traditionally done in advanced surgical centres, mainly located in large cities. This makes it hard for patients from the remote rural interiors to travel to the cities and stay for the duration required. Often, it is economically a double whammy for them as they have to not only summon the financial resources for travel, stay and treatment, but also forego their daily wages as agriculture labourers, as also the wages of the person accompanying them.

So LVPEI created history by conducting a Corneal Transplantation surgery – a complex eye surgery – at its secondary eye care centre, the Edward and Soona Brown Eye Centre, at Dhulipalla village in Sattenapalli Mandal, Guntur District, Andhra Pradesh on 28 March 2016. The centre’s first ever corneal transplantation was performed on Shaik Bibi by the surgical team of expert doctors from the Tej Kohli Cornea Institute of LVPEI and the ophthalmologist in Dhulipalla centre. The corneal donor tissue for the procedure was carefully transported from LVPEI’s Ramayamma International Eye Bank in Hyderabad. The doctors stationed at Dhulipalla have been trained to take care of post operative care of corneal transplant patients. Thus the patient need not travel anywhere else at all. What’s more, the patient could even return home the same day after the transplant, thus saving time and resources for her family.

This secondary centre which was established in January 2015 is already providing high quality comprehensive eye care services to individuals with diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma and children with eye problems.

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