Bhopal, August 2016 : According to the World Health Organization, corneal diseases are among the major causes of vision loss and blindness in the world today, after cataract and glaucoma. According to Eye Bank Association of India approximately 11 Lakh blind population of our country are waiting for corneal transplantation and approximately 25,000 new cases are being reported every year. One eye donation can give sight to two corneal blind persons. Corneal transplantation is the answer to restore sight. With recent advancement in microsurgery there is increased success rate and reduced complications.
Central India’s renowned cornea and refractive surgeon and director Sudarshan Netralaya, Bhopal Dr.Prateek Gujar informed this while addressing a press conference organised here on Friday to mark the beginning of 31stNational Fortnight On Eye Donation, being observed between August 25 and September 8.
Dr. Gujar said cornea is the eye’s outermost layer. It is the clear, dome-shaped surface that covers the front of the eye. It is responsible for more than 2/3rd of the eye’s focusing power.Treating corneal blindness is possible through cornea transplant. In this treatment, a healthy cornea is transplanted in place of a diseased cornea in entirety through penetrating keratoplasty or in part through lamellar keratoplasty. Since artificial corneas are not available, corneas have to be harvested only through eye donation.
He said the corneal transplantation is suggested in case of scarring from infections such as viral, fungal or bacterial Keratitis; hereditary corneal diseases or dystrophies; thinning of cornea or irregular shape due to Keratoconus; chemical burns on the cornea and or excessive swelling on the cornea (like after cataract surgery).
Dr Gujar further said that DMEK/DSEK (Descemet’s stripping endothelial keratoplasty) is a newer form of endothelial transplant where the innermost layer of cornea is replaced with a stitchless technique. This technique although requires more skill, increases the chances of success considerably. Likewise, Deep anterior lamellar keratoplasty (DALK), is a newer method of corneal surgical procedure that selectively removes the diseased anterior layers of the cornea and retains the healthy innermost layer (endothelium). As the inner layer is retained the body does not recognize the donor tissue, hence there is no risk of rejection, and steroid medications need not be continued for a long duration. Earlier this method was available only in cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad and Bengaluru etc. Now he has brought these techniques to Madhya Pradesh. Currently these surgeries are routinely being done at Sudarshan Netralaya, Bhopal.