Eye Surgeon Creates World Record by Performing One Lakh Cataract Surgeries

by VR Sreeraman on Aug 21 2007 7:17 PM

An eye surgeon here has claimed to have created a world record by performing 100,000 cataract operations.

"I merely went on doing it in the hospital and at free eye surgery camps without ever thinking of setting a world record. It just happened though I am happy for it nevertheless," Tatyarao Lahane, an eye surgeon at the state run J.J. Hospital who performed the feat, said here.

Lahane and his team of doctors and other assistants were felicitated Monday at a function attended by Maharastra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh.

He reached the record by operating on police officer Vijay Talekar. Another eye surgeon Balchandra had performed 86,000 operations earlier in a span of 35 years.

Among the 100,000 phaco-emulsification procedures (the most common surgical procedure for removing cataracts) Lahane has done, 1,211 were performed on leprosy patients at Baba Amte's Anandvan in Warora near Nagpur.

"So many phaco-emulsification procedures on leprosy patients is in itself a world record that I haven't so far publicised," the surgeon said.

A poor farmer's son from Makegaon village near Deshmukh's hometown Latur in Maharashtras's Marathwada region, Lahane tilled the land with his siblings while pursuing his studies.

"We were a family of nine including my parents surviving on two acres of agricultural land, so we could hardly afford to hire labourers to work on the farm," he said.

Another factor making the doctor's feat more remarkable is that he is surviving on one kidney - donated by his mother - since 1985.

"It was my assistants - Ragini Parekh, Pradip Sawant, Maruti Shelar, Santosh and Laxman - who not only have made the feat possible but also maintained the record without which I would never have known it. You must mention their names if you want to write my story," he insisted.

Earlier, two Indian eye surgeons Modi and Reddy had set a world record by performing over 250,000 cataract operations. They were banned by the government because of their high failure rate, Lahane told IANS.