Blind man sees with help from tooth-implanted lens

October 9, 2013 by John Hewitt weblog
Ian Tibbets radical eye surgery. Credit: video.perthnow.com.au

(Medical Xpress)—In 1998, Ian Tibbets lost vision in his right eye, some time after he severely injured the cornea with a piece of scrap metal. Later on he also lost vision in his left eye. Tibbets was eventually referred to Christopher Liu, a surgeon at the Sussex Eye Hospital, and was qualified for a radical procedure known as osteo-odonto-keratoprothsesis (OOKP). The procedure sounds a little strange, and it is, but for Tibbets and the five other patients who have undergone the procedure, it worked.

The two step was developed in the early 1960s. A , along with a bit of attached bone, is first removed from the patient and machined to accommodate a plastic lens. The lens-tooth is then implanted within a fleshy pouch under the socket of the eye that not being operated on. A flap of skin is also removed from the inside of the cheek, and stitched to the front of the eye which will receive the tooth. The tooth itself is acts a convenient chassis for the lens that is acceptable to the immune system. Provided it is from the patient themself, the tooth should not be rejected.

The second part of the procedure is done about four months later, after there has been sufficient time for vascularization of the tooth. Part of the cornea, iris and the vitreous gel are first removed from the operated eye. Then the tooth and associated bone lamina are cut out and stitched into the prepared eye socket, and re-covered with the flap of cheek skin. The procedure generally has a good prognosis. Over time there is a risk of failure of the lamina, mainly due to the possibility that the body will resorbe it. Those risks can be significant when the procedure involved glaucoma, or if the implanted tissue was an allograft (obtained from another person).

Mr Tibbetts' in the repaired eye has gradually come back to around 40 per cent, permitting him to see the face of his wife, and for the first time, his two children. The small black pupil inside of a pink , makes his new look rather distinctive, to say the least. But for Tibbets, and potentially many others, the rewards are worth the occasional second glance from strangers.

Explore further: Study shows that people who undergo cataract surgery to correct visual impairment live longer

More information: via Independent

Related Stories

Study shows that people who undergo cataract surgery to correct visual impairment live longer

September 4, 2013
People with cataract-related vision loss who have had cataract surgery to improve their sight are living longer than those with visual impairment who chose not to have the procedure, according to an Australian cohort study ...

Repairing the nose after skin cancer in just one step

March 12, 2013
The skin cancer growing on Carolyn Bohlmann's nose was not a very aggressive variety. But it was deep and located right on her nostril. The tricky part was not so much removing it – MOHS surgery, the procedure Bohlmann ...

Recommended for you

Genome editing with CRISPR-Cas9 prevents angiogenesis of the retina

July 24, 2017
A research team from the Schepens Eye Research Institute of Massachusetts Eye and Ear has successfully prevented mice from developing angiogenesis of the retina—the sensory tissue at the back of the eye—using gene-editing ...

Too little vitamin D may hinder recovery of injured corneas

July 24, 2017
Injury or disease in combination with too little vitamin D can be bad for the window to your eyes.

Combination of type 2 diabetes and sleep apnoea indicates eyesight loss within four years

July 4, 2017
Research led by the University of Birmingham has discovered that patients who suffer from both Type 2 diabetes and obstructive sleep apnoea are at greater risk of developing a condition that leads to blindness within an average ...

Nearly 60% of pinkeye patients receive antibiotic eye drops, but they're seldom necessary

June 28, 2017
A new study suggests that most people with acute conjunctivitis, or pinkeye, are getting the wrong treatment.

Magnetic implants used to treat 'dancing eyes'

June 26, 2017
A research team has successfully used magnets implanted behind a person's eyes to treat nystagmus, a condition characterised by involuntary eye movements.

Drug shows promise against vision-robbing disease in seniors

June 21, 2017
An experimental drug is showing promise against an untreatable eye disease that blinds older adults—and intriguingly, it seems to work in patients who carry a particular gene flaw that fuels the damage to their vision.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.