Corneal transplantation, also known as corneal grafting, is a surgical procedure where a damaged or diseased cornea is replaced by donated corneal tissue The doctors, with the aid of Plastic and Cosmetic Surgeon, Dr.Vinod Vij performed the corneal transplant followed by grafting of a sensory nerve taken out from her foot called the Sural nerve, anatomising it and connecting it to the Cornea along with the sensory nerves of her forehead.
‘It was noted that the patient experienced an improved vision from the very next day.’
Due to the loss of corneal nerve sensations (Viral Neurotrophic Keratopathy), the patient's cornea was unable to heal well and she also experienced a loss of vision. She was suffering from Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV), a virus that spreads across the skin forming a thin moist lining around many parts of the body such as the nose, mouth, throat and genitals which lead to the loss of corneal sensations.
Dr. Sunil Morekar said, "We planned and took the risk of the corneal transplant alongside using a new technique called Nerve Grafting as there was a high risk of failure of the grafted cornea, if only the corneal transplant was to be performed. This particular procedure has only been performed at a few centers across the Western World".
"We are ecstatic that it was a success and the results positive. We are proud to be the first to conduct the combined surgery in India as this is a landmark in providing superlative care and better hope for patients, who lose their eyesight due to corneal denervating diseases like Herpes, acoustic neuroma and trauma," Morekar added.
Dr. Harshavardhan Ghorpade said, "Due to the precise execution of the procedure, the patient is responding well with 70 percent improvement in vision within just six to eight weeks."
However, according to doctors, the patient will experience normal sensations in a few days. The cornea is expected to remain clear, without any recurrence of complications related to the sensory loss.