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Standardized Pre-Surgical Steps For Eye Surgery

June 12, 2012

Over 45,000 corneal transplant eye surgeries are performed in the US every year. On June 12, 2012, in an effort to standardize this complex procedure, two video articles describing pre-surgical preparation of corneal tissue were published in JoVE, the Journal of Visualized Experiments. These articles are authored by groups of scientists from Italy and the United States.

By utilizing the JoVE’s unique visual format the authors of the studies hope to standardize the pre-surgical techniques, minimize wasted biomaterial and reduce the risk of tissue rejection in corneal transplant. The first article titled “A simplified technique for In situ excision of cornea and evisceration of retinal tissue from human ocular globe” demonstrates how to harvest the cornea and retina from ocular globes. Contributing author Dr. Mohit Parekh of the research institute Fondazione Bianca Degli Occhi del Veneto in Italy notes that “Thousands of corneas and ocular globes are processed throughout the world. These human tissues are very precious and cannot be wasted. Therefore it becomes mandatory to have a standardized technique to excise the best quality tissue and use as many parts as we can”.

The second article demonstrates the critical step of the pre-surgical corneal processing, clinically termed keratoplasty, and is titled “Corneal Donor Tissue Preparation for Endothelial Keratoplasty”. It is published as a joint study between the University of Michigan and the Midwest Eye-Bank. This   procedure demonstrates the pre-surgical steps for a specific partial thickness corneal transplant known as Descemet’s Stripping Automated Endothelial Keratoplasty (DSAEK). “Meticulous preparation of the corneal transplant tissue for DSAEK can improve patient outcomes from surgery,” states author Dr. Roni Shtein from the University of Michigan. “By standardizing the pre-surgical processing techniques for endothelial keratoplasty we can increase the likelihood that all transplant tissue will be of high quality for transplantation in DSAEK surgery.” Dr. Shtein’s article can be found here.

JoVE is proud to publish these procedures. Dr. Nandita Singh, the Senior Science Editor at JoVE, says, “The health of the delicate corneal endothelium is critical for a successful corneal transplant.  The visualization available in the JoVE article is essential to precisely learn this very complex procedure.”

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