Scotland has experienced its first new corneal transplant procedure successfully. Gretta Biggar, from Kilmarnock, has undergone the surgery at the Ayr Hospital in May. And now she has regained her lost sight and is happy. The new procedure targets only affected areas of the cornea as opposed to the traditional full cornea transplant. Doctors said that the procedure can bring the lost eye sight back in few weeks.
The new transplant surgery, called endothelial keratoplasty, involves replacing only the affected layers of the cornea. The process is free from stitches and the patient has to stay at the hospital for one day only. Consultant ophthalmologist Sathish Srinivasan, who carried out the operation of Gretta says,
"We carry this out under a local anaesthetic, the patient only needs to come into hospital for the day, and most importantly, it doesn't involve stitches."
He also says,
"Until now in Scotland, the only surgical cure for patients with diseases of the inner layers of the cornea has been a traditional full-thickness corneal transplant operation."
This process is popular among the patients as the patients recover their vision in weeks, compared to almost 15 to 18 months with the traditional operation.
Mrs Biggar said she was delighted with the outcome. She said,
"At last I can see the colours of the flowers in my garden and now I can watch the telly as well."
The Ayr Hospital ophthalmology surgical team has since carried out a second endothelial keratoplasty and has about 20 other patients scheduled for the procedure.