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New cornea translplant surgery could transform treatment

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A pioneering transplant operation, which has given a 69-year-old woman restored vision, could transform cornea surgical procedures.

Jean Black, is one of the first people in Scotland to undergo the new corneal transplant operation, which involves replacing the diseased section of the cornea.

The breakthrough operation is less invasive than previous ones, with patients needing only a few stitches and regaining vision a few days after its completion, compared to one to two years for the old operation.

Consultant ophthalmic surgeon Dr Ashish Agrawal explained that not only does the operation benefit patients, but its financially beneficial.

He said: ‘Patients are required to attend hospital less and there is not as much need for follow-up visits, additional procedures or complex spectacle prescription or contact lens fittings.’

Within a few days of the operation at the Princess Alexandra Eye Pavilion Edinburgh, Mrs Black, from East Lothian, was able to see her great grandchildren.

Mrs Black was diagnosed with the genetic eye condition Fuchs Dystrophy and by the time she was in her 30s she had lost most of her vision.

She had undergone a procedure three years ago in the hope it would restore vision, but it was not successful.

Speaking about the most recent procedure she said: ‘The difference between the two procedures is like night and day.’

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