Teen's Vision Saved with Pioneering Laser Surgery

Posted by Admin on July 22, 2013
Eye surgeons in the UK have saved the vision of a 16-year-old boy by employing a laser treatment inspired by "tongue and groove" floor boards. James Bowden was facing blindness after suffering from an eye disease known as Keratoconus, which occurs when the eye's cornea becomes cone-shaped as a result of thinning layers close to the center of the eye.

Keratoconus is a progressive eye condition that usually starts at puberty, and causes blurred sight, double vision and even blindness. Bowden’s serious condition was extremely rare at his age. He was unable to watch television or even socialize without help; he was also on the verge of giving up sporting activities for good.

However, surgeons at the UK’s Center for Sight hospital decided to perform at laser-guided corneal graft on one of Bowden’s eyes, resulting in a full return of vision to that eye. This makes him the youngest individual in the UK to undergo this operation.

The surgery was conducted using lasers instead of metal blades, which the surgeons claim greatly improves the fit of the graft, the strength of the wound, and the recovery of the patient’s vision. The graft was inspired by “tongue and groove” floor boards – where boards fit together like pieces of a jigsaw, greatly boosting the accuracy of the graft.

Medical director and eye consultant at the Center for Sight explains that this laser treatment forms geometric tongue and groove type incisions that allow the graft to slot perfectly into the cornea of the host while maintaining good mechanical strength.

Since the operation had higher accuracy and the laser’s speed was faster when compared to the standard blades, the procedure could be conducted under local anesthetic, allowing Bowden to be released from the hospital the same day. He is currently waiting for a full recover before surgery is undertaken on the second eye.

Daya concludes by stating, "The use of this type of laser during surgery meant that we were able to dramatically improve James' experience during the procedure and reduce his recovery time. We were delighted with how James' operation went and his recovery time, thanks to this method, has been reduced from around a year, to just three months."

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