A southern Indian eye hospital has performed intraocular lens (IOL) transplant on a four-year-old girl using tissue glue, dispensing with the more traditional sutures. This is claimed as the first of its kind in the world.
Fibrin glue, used to secure oozing of blood in delicate surgeries, is a substance made from blood plasma.
'It is normally used in urological and plastic surgeries. Though it is also used in ophthalmic surgeries, it is the first time we adopted the technology in intraocular surgeries,' said Dr Amar Agarwal, who performed the Glue Assisted Sutureless IOL implantation. He is a reputed eye surgeon of India.
In fact Anandhi, the child, only underwent routine IOL surgery first in the Agarwal Eye Hospital in Chennai, capital of Tamil Nadu. She had suffered severe injury in the lens while bursting crackers during the Hindu festival of Deepavali. In the surgery, a plastic lens is surgically implanted to replace the eye's natural lens.
'But one month after the surgery, we found the lens was not staying in one place, as it normally should, but was moving here and there as if it was dancing. Then we decided to use glue to fix the lens in the eyes and she is perfectly normal,' said Dr Amar Agarwal after playing a video-recording of the surgery for the media Wednesday. The whole procedure took 30 minutes.
Explaining the advantages of using the glue technique, Dr Agarwal said sutures sometimes left the lens dangling like a hammock.
'But in the glue technique, the lens remains stuck where it is implanted. Consequently sutures provide mixed results. Moreover sutures are biodegradable and could create other complications,' he noted.
Treatment of damaged IOL was a challenge for ophthalmologists. In most of these cases nothing could be done about the problem. ''With this glue technology, now we can provide treatment for patients whose intraocular lens capsule is missing. Besides the glue enhances sharpness of vision,'' Dr Agarwal said.
He also noted that the glue did not produce any reaction in the body and would work in the advantage of a little girl like Anandhi.
'If we had used sutures, you never know what will happen, say after 40 years,' he said and clarified that the child did not require any continuous medical care.
The entire operation was done free of cost as Anandhi's parents were poor agricultural labourers, Dr. Agarwal added.