At the conference conducted by the Bombay Ophthalmologists Association (BOA), FOCUS 2017, there was a special kind of surgery done using a new technique by Dr Samar Basak, Director and senior consultant of Cataract and Eye Diseases at Disha Eye hospitals.
It was a rare kind of corneal surgery that was held at Sir JJ Group of Hospitals, which was telecasted live from the conference hall at Hyatt Regency, for the delegates who came from across the country for the three day silver jubilee conference.
Dr Basak said there are a lot of inclusions in the new technique list, just like the one performed here. Descremet Membrane Endothelial Keratoplasty (DMEK) was performed on a patient at the Sir JJ Group of Hospitals.
“Basically this technique means operating the fourth and fifth layer of the cornea without disturbing the first three layers,” informed Dr Basak.
In this DMEK procedure, the patient descemets membrane and endothelium are removed and replaced with the donor healthy descemets membrane and endothelium.
This ensures the anatomical perfection and the success rate is high. Just after surgery, within two hours, the patient is fine. Until 15 years ago, doctors used to use 15 to 20 sutures, in this kind of surgery.
But gradually, with time, a finer scale has evolved. Earlier, patients needed rest for a month and never had very good vision, even after undergoing the procedure.
“But with this technique, a patient can see properly within three to four days and has to take rest for about 10 days and then he/she can resume his/her normal activities,” said Dr Basak.
“There are no lenses used in this surgery. Specifically in this case, the patient’s lens was already used for the cataract surgery. But the cornea got swollen because of some problem. So we left that part. We have just removed the diseased cornea inner parts and replaced them with the donor’s cornea inner parts,” he added.
“There are five layers on the cornea, so in this kind of operation; only the patient’s 4th and 5th layer are diseased, other the 3 layers are good, so today, I removed the patient’s 4th and 5th layer and we took the 4th and 5th layer from the healthy donor eye and replaced it,” he further explained.
He credited the motivation to perform this surgery to the support and guidance provided to him by Dr T P Lahane, Chief Advisor, BOA FOCUS 2017 and Dean of Sir JJ Group of Hospitals and Dr Ragini Parekh, Scientific Chairperson, BOA FOCUS 2017 and Head of the Department of Department of Ophthalmology at Sir JJ Group of Hospitals.
Doctor Basak also said that corneal disease is an important issue in the country which needs to be addressed.
This is also the second most common cause of blindness, to cure it, we need people to come forward and donate their eyes.
Eye donation can help two people get their vision back. That is why it is called layer corneal surgery as you don’t need to put in any suture. Its success rate is phenomenal when this technique is employed.