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Sunday, December 10, 2023

Turin, patient returns to see thanks to an autotransplant

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The man had lost sight in his left eye for 30 years due to irreversible retinal blindness and had also gradually lost the visual function of his right eye over the past 10 years due to a rare chronic pathology. The surgery performed on Molinette is the first case in the world

“When I woke up and started to see the contours of my fingers and hand, it was like being born again.” These are the words of an 83-year-old man. For the first time in the world, a blind man has regained sight in one eye thanks to the blind other eye. The story happened in the Molinette Hospital of the Città della Salute in Turin. The protagonist of the story is an 83-year-old man living in the Turin area, who had lost the sight in his left eye for 30 years due to irreversible retinal blindness and had gradually lost visual function over the last 10 years of his right eye due to a rare chronic disease (ocular pseudopemphigoid), which has destroyed the cornea and surface of the eye (CORNEA TRANSPLANT).


In recent years, the right eye had undergone two traditional full-thickness corneal transplants, both of which quickly failed due to ocular surface defects. The man underwent an operation that lasted four hours, so that he can now recognize objects, faces and move independently. Full-thickness corneal transplant is the surgical procedure in which only the cornea that has lost its transparency is replaced with a healthy cornea from a deceased donor. “Normally, the cornea has a much lower rate of rejection than other vascularized organs, but in the presence of widespread alteration of the entire surface of the eye, as in the case of the patient, this risk becomes very high,” said Professor Vincenzo Sarnicola. And again: “The operation was performed from the left eye, irreparable from a functional point of view, but with the cornea and the surface of the eye in good health, the entire conjunctiva, the entire cornea and two millimeters of sclera in a single piece – explained Michele Reibaldi, director of the Molinette University Eye Clinic and Professor Vincenzo Sarnicola – In practice, one third of the left eye was automatically transplanted into the right eye, which was then rebuilt and able to see again”.

Source: TG 24 Sky

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