September 23, 2019
Twenty-five years after being the victim of a random acid attack, James O’Brien can once again see out of both eyes. The attack left his right eye heavily scarred, with very impaired vision, but thanks to a groundbreaking surgery his vision continues to improve.
A team of surgeons from Moorfields Eye Hospital performed a series of procedures over a number of months to improve O’Brien’s vision. First of all, they harvested stem cells from the left eye, and sent them to a specialist laboratory in Italy, where they grew for six months. Scar tissue was then removed from the damaged right eye and replaced with the stem cells. Because stem cells are like building blocks, able to become other types of cells, they were able to repair the damaged cells in O’Brien’s eye.
After a year of allowing the stem cells to grow a donor cornea was inserted into the right eye. This final step has restored the vision in O’Brien’s right eye, and he says that his vision continues to improve as time goes on. Following the success of this procedure similar surgeries will now be able to treat other patients with eye injuries, or degenerative eye diseases.
Source: The London Economic
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