The first ever institute in the world to perform more than 2,000 corneal transplants in a year is the L.V. Prasad Eye Institute (LVPEI).
It performed 2,043 corneal transplants in 2016-17, setting the record for the highest ever corneal transplant surgeries in the world by a single center.
‘The only known cure for corneal blindness is Corneal transplantation.’
Since its inception, the institute's Hyderabad campus has so far notched up 23,901 corneal transplant surgeries, LVPEI said in a statement.
The Ramayamma International Eye Bank at the campus harvested 7,166 corneas this financial year and distributed 3,810 corneas to corneal surgeons across the country.
Corneal disease is a major cause of blindness in India. Of the 10 million blind in India, 1.1 million are blind in both eyes due to corneal disease, injury or infection. An estimated 80 per cent of blindness globally could either be prevented or treated.
Corneal transplantation is the only known cure for corneal blindness, which is made possible by the donation of healthy corneas by individuals upon their death.
Over the past 27 years, LVPEI has worked towards increasing the collection of transplantable donor corneas and elevating eye banking performance standards in India, as well as, other parts of Asia and the developing world.
LVPEI Founder and Chair Gullapalli N. Rao said the institute had so far done nearly 24,000 corneal transplants, the highest anywhere in the world.
He noted that Hyderabad is the only city and Telangana the only state in the country to have a no-waiting list for corneal transplants.
"We have trained two-thirds of all corneal transplant surgeons in the country, which is 300 of the 450 corneal transplant surgeons India has. Our country needs more trained surgeons, as currently we are doing 30,000 corneal transplants per year against 1 lakh to be done, which needs 20,000 corneal surgeons," the founder said.