June 17, 2011
Surgery Restores Sight After 55 Years
After being hit by a thrown rock in the 1950s when he was just eight-years-old, a man had his vision restored after being treated for glaucoma, The Telegraph is reporting.
The unnamed man, now 63 years of age, entered the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary complaining of persistent pain and redness in the blind eye. Doctors found he had glaucoma and high eye pressure.
Once his eye pressure had stabilized they treated the neovascular glaucoma using monoclonal antibody therapy and found that against all odds the patient regained light perception. Encouraged, the doctors suggested reattaching the retina.
After an operation to do so, the man had recovered his sight to such an extent that he could count fingers more than 5 yards away, BBC news reports. Infirmary physician Dr. Olusola Olawoye explained, "To the best of our knowledge this is the first report of visual recovery in a patient with long-standing traumatic retinal detachment."
"This is not only a great result for our patient but has implications for restoring eyesight in other patients. In the future retinal reattachments after long periods could be aided with the use of stem cells to regenerate diseased retinas," he added.
After a year, the patient required further retinal surgery due to the scars inside his eye forcing parts of the retina to become detached again. However this second surgery was also successful.