Sankara Eye Hospital: ‘Tooth in eye’ surgery helps woman regain sight after 10 years

Corneal blindness is the inability to see due to loss of clarity in the cornea, is one of the leading causes of blindness in India. This may be due to many causes like birth defects, infection and trauma. Nearly 40% of such cases can be treated with corneal transplantation from another human donated cornea after death

Sankara Eye Hospital: ‘Tooth in eye’ surgery helps woman regain sight after 10 years

Mamtha, a 35-year-old was given a new lease of life by gaining her vision on Friday. She was suffering from bilateral corneal blindness with severe dry eyes which made her lose her vision completely.

She was leading a normal and happy life, until she developed a drug reaction called Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS syndrome) and this made her lose the ability to see from both her eyes due to scarred and dry cornea making her life miserable and totally dependent on others to do basic chores.

After consulting over a dozen hospitals and institutes for surgery that would enable her to regain eyesight, she was dejected due to the complexity of the eye condition. She finally visited Sankara Eye Hospital in Bangalore, hoping to find a ray of hope to regain at least near normal life.

“On the patient’s arrival, after a thorough investigation, we decided to perform a Modified Osteo-Odonto-Keratoprosthesis (MOOKP) also known as ‘tooth in eye’ surgery,” explained Dr Pallavi Joshi, consultant cornea and refractive services at Sankara Eye hospital.

‘Tooth in eye’ is a surgical procedure to restore vision in the bilaterally severely damaged cases of corneal and altered ocular surface patients. It’s done by extracting a tooth from the patient.

After the tooth removal, a lamina of the tissue cut from the tooth is drilled and the hole is fitted with optics. The lamina is grown in the patient’s cheek for a period of months and then is implanted upon the eye.

Sankara Eye Hospital: ‘Tooth in eye’ surgery helps woman regain sight after 10 years

Dr Joshi added, “This patient, after thorough evaluation and proper counselling agreed to get this surgery of tooth in the eye done, which took us a period of nine months to complete consisting of three surgical stages of three months gap between each. At the end of the final surgical procedure the patient has regained 80% of her functional vision and is more than delighted and able to do her daily activities independently again after nearly a decade.”

Mamtha’s husband, Satish said, “Mamtha has been suffering for almost a decade now. The surgery has not only changed her life, but has also changed our life drastically; she can see now. It is overwhelming to see her smile. Our faith has kept us going and encouraged us to stay strong through the journey of nine months through all the three surgical procedures.”