The Times of India, Sunday August 16, 2009, Hyderabad
HYDERABAD: At 17, Shyam Sharma has undergone 12 corneal transplantations in the last 11 years and has made 82 visit to L V Prasad Eye Institute (LVPEI).However this teenager from Rajasthan could finally get his vision restored recently when he underwent an artificial corneal implant procedure at the hospital. Sharma lost his vision after limestone particles fell into his eye when he was painting his house in 1998 and says he never thought he could see again.
But this isn’t the only significant procedure happening in Hyderabad. In the last one month , the city has seen some uncommon surgeries performed at hospital here. Earlier this month, three Iraqi nationals underwent facial plastic surgeries at Apollo Hospital, which according to Doctors here were procedure not performed even in the developed part of the word.
At LVPEI, doctors says that the artificial corneal implant, Keratoprothesis, is being performed in Hyderabad for the first time and that this implant plays the role of a real cornea and is used for people whose eyes have not benefited from the conventional corneal grafting. Eye sight of four young people including Sharma , all hailing from different part of the country and had lost there vision in accidents some years ago, was restored last month when Dr. Virender sangwan at LVPEI performed this procedure on them.
The procedure is unique say doctors, as it uses a telescope device, the Boston Keratoprothesis ‘kpro’, which is implanted in the eye. Since kpro uses biocompatible material, doctors says if is both comfortable and also less vulnerable to infection and other such problems that are related to the real cornea transplant. The device received FDA clearance in 1992 and is now used in most part of the developed world.
At Apollo, facial plastic surgeries on three citizens of Iraq earlier this month has doctors writing into international medical journals describing these procedures in detail. One of the three who underwent the surgery was five year old , Muntader haider , who had a rare cranial facial abnormality in which the eyes are too widely spaced from each other. His doctor facial plastic surgeon Dr Debraj Shome, says that his condition was a rare genetic disorder.
“His surgery involve breaking the bone between the two eyes and repositioning the same with wires and screws so that the face could appear normal again. He also needed surgery to reorient the mouth in a straight line,” says Dr Debraj Shome, who now plans to report this case in the Archives of facial plastic surgery.
What is significant in the kind of cases being order taken at city hospitals, says doctors, is the advanced medical technology now being used here which considerably reduces the pain for patients. For instance, the cornea implant surgery, though cost-intensive, is better than the real cornea implant not only because its better accepted by the body but also because the post-surgery medication does not involve the use of as much immunosuppressant drug and steroids as in case of a regular corneal implant. “I had to take more than four tablets a day, mostly immunosuppressant drug and steroids after my cornea transplants. Now I take only one dose of steroids a day, says Ankeet dey, a 19-years old who underwent the procedure last month.
Dr Debraj Shome, who in a complex surgery removed a tumour on top of the left eye of another Iraqi national, says the producer was a specialised job and would have not been possible without the technical advancement in Indian medicine.