Print 31 comment(s) - last by Kenenniah.. on Sep 25 at 5:19 PM

A Florida woman became the first person in the U.S. to under go the MOOKP implantation technique. The controversial vision-restoring surgery uses a tooth to anchor a prosthetic lens. While disfiguring, the procedure can provide terrific results, restoring vision in some legally blind patients.  (Source: Fox News)
A bizarre new medical technique may help some victims of impaired vision

While synthetic eyeballs -- either of electronic or organic nature -- advance towards one day replacing vision, scientists are also developing new near-term procedures to save or restore patients' vision.  Among these is the osteo-odonto-keratoprosthesis, or MOOKP, a bizarre technique that uses a tooth to implant a synthetic lens in patients with cornea damage.

Typically prosthetic lenses can be implanted into patients without the need for such extreme measures.  However, in some patients the extreme damage makes it impossible for a clean implantation.  That's where the MOOKP comes in.  The procedure involves removing one of the patient's teeth and using it to anchor the lens.  The procedure had been successfully performed in Europe and Asia, but never before in the U.S. -- until now.

Doctors at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine successfully completed surgery on 60-year-old Sharron Thornton over Labor Day Weekend.  Ms. Thornton, was legally blinded by a unexpected reaction to a drug in 2000.  Her options were limited, as here eye surface was too dry for a corneal implant.

So doctors turned to the controversial and outlandish MOOKP method, never before attempted in the States.  Ms. Thornton's ironically named eye tooth and part of her jaw bone were removed and sculpted to form a base for the lens.  The lens-bone combination was then implanted into a pouch in the patient's cheek, where it was encased in living tissue.  A hole was then cut in the cornea and the tissue-bone-lens capsule was implanted into the eye, with lens covering the hole.  The mucous membrane was then pulled back over the eye like a blanket and a hole was cut to let light pass through the artificial lens.

Thanks to the procedure Ms. Thornton has now regained sight.  States ophthalmologist and surgeon Victor Perez who helped perform the procedure, "Sharron was able to see 20/60 this morning. She was seeing only shadows a couple of weeks ago."

The radical technique is not without its downsides.  Describes James Chodosh, a faculty member at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, "It's a pretty radical operation and can be disfiguring."

Still, some with vision impairments feel the disfigured appearance would be more than worth it for the chance to see again.  Ms. Thornton says being able to see clearly and read again is "like Christmas".  She states, "Without sight, life is really hard. I'm hoping this surgery will help countless people."

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Damned socialized medicine!
By hashish2020 on 9/21/2009 10:15:22 AM , Rating: 3
When will those foreigners understand that their health system precludes them from being more advanced than us!

"The procedure had been successfully performed in Europe and Asia, but never before in the U.S. -- until now."

RE: Damned socialized medicine!
By kattanna on 9/21/2009 11:03:49 AM , Rating: 5
what would be interesting to know is.. did she have insurance.. and did it cover this operation? im guessing no and that the doctors did it on their own dime to be the first americans to do it.

RE: Damned socialized medicine!
By G2cool on 9/21/2009 11:36:53 AM , Rating: 5
I would guess that someone with a larger stake funded this one... the Tooth Fairy! Think of the innumerable quantity of now valuable teeth. Well played Tooth Fairy... well played indeed.

RE: Damned socialized medicine!
By epobirs on 9/21/2009 12:56:56 PM , Rating: 2
You're making a stupid assumption about this being a matter of funding. Many procedures and drugs become available overseas first because the countries have far less regulation in regard to testing new procedures and medicines.

There is a downside to this. Consider Thalidomide and its tendency to cause horrific birth defects. Of the 10,000 children born with severe defects due to their mothers taking the drug during pregnancy, only 17 occurred in the US. The FDA had yet to approve its use in any context when news broke of the birth defects in Europe. This lead to the addition of pregnancy to the conditions under which new drugs are tested.

Remember, freedom includes the freedom to screw up.

"Not tested on animals. You'll be the first!"

RE: Damned socialized medicine!
By adiposity on 9/21/2009 1:26:20 PM , Rating: 3
Remember, freedom includes the freedom to screw up.

So you are admitting that we are less free than a lot of other nations, I guess.


RE: Damned socialized medicine!
By sigmatau on 9/21/2009 4:35:07 PM , Rating: 4

You use a drug from 1957 to prove your point? LOL!!!!!!

I would wager that the countries where this cutting edge surgery was done BEFORE it was considered in the US have better consumer protections than we do.

GL paying your middle man (insurance) to profit off of your health while providing nothing. Sounds like a bookie to me.

RE: Damned socialized medicine!
By Kenenniah on 9/25/2009 5:19:09 PM , Rating: 2
GL paying your middle man (insurance) to profit off of your health while providing nothing. Sounds like a bookie to me.

According to that logic, I'd be better off with no insurnace right? I mean if insurance companies provide nothing......
What insurance companies provide is spread risk. Some insureds may pay more for health care through insurance premiums than they would have without, while others pay less. Unfortunately noone knows if they are going to have major health issues that cost a lot of money or not.

Government run health care or insurance would follow the exact same principle. Inusrance premiums are just paid through taxes instead. The money has to come from somewhere.

Now if you want to argue that government run would be cheaper due to no profit motive, then there's a valid debate. But to say insurance companies provide nothing is just ridiculous.

If we really want to fix healthcare, we need to lower the costs. Regardless of whether its private insurance or government run insurance, if nothing changes with regard to how much surgeries, hosiptal stays, etc. cost..... well as I said before, the money has to come from somewhere.

RE: Damned socialized medicine!
By sigmatau on 9/21/09, Rating: 0
RE: Damned socialized medicine!
By Shadrack2 on 9/22/2009 7:49:22 AM , Rating: 2
I would kinda hope that some of the funding came from the drug company responsible for the "unexpected reaction" that caused her blindness in the first place, but I doubt it since they would have FDA approval for it's use.

RE: Damned socialized medicine!
By goddamnit on 9/22/2009 11:08:05 AM , Rating: 2
It amazes me how it can be that America seems to have the most vigorous regulations of the world (speaking ironically) and at the same time its people are taking pills, medicine and other kind of medical additions like eating burgers. Not to mention the excessive use of genetic engineering with obious risks to humanity. I'm by no way opposing scientific advantage, mind that. But just when America seems to be second to someone it's always the same with some of you:

It's because of safety.
If America's number one, the other countries are "ruled by little girls" and that's why they are second.

Just accept that sometimes you are beginning to be second. Look at face transplants for example.

My 2 cents.

PS: I'm from Europe and there's definitely a lot going well in the US and it sure is a great country. Just be a little more open to other ways in other countries.

RE: Damned socialized medicine!
By MrPoletski on 9/25/2009 8:54:47 AM , Rating: 2
Americans have the biggest and best everything, didn't you know?

old news
By magneticfield on 9/21/2009 9:12:28 AM , Rating: 3
I've read about it so long ago, I can't even remember where/when.

RE: old news
By Etern205 on 9/21/2009 10:08:04 AM , Rating: 2
It was on AOL, I was about to suggest it, but though nah as it wasn't anything to do with computers since DT is a tech site and they are only interested in news thats computer related.

Still, I'm glad this was shared.

RE: old news
By amanojaku on 9/21/2009 10:15:58 AM , Rating: 2
DT is a tech site and they are only interested in news thats computer related.
WHAT?!? I guess you missed the articles/blogs about global warming, biofuels, car technologies, optics, nanomaterials...

RE: old news
By Etern205 on 9/21/2009 11:39:11 PM , Rating: 2
I've read this, but I guess you missed this?

RE: old news
By Etern205 on 9/21/2009 11:39:38 PM , Rating: 2
I've read those, but I guess you missed this?

RE: old news
By Alexstarfire on 9/21/2009 3:42:29 PM , Rating: 2
I read an article about it on Guru3D and that was several months ago. Can't believe that JUST made the news over here at DT.

RE: old news
By omnicronx on 9/21/2009 5:12:48 PM , Rating: 2
This just happened.. although it was the first procedure to occur in the US and not the world. The article you mention must be from a previous case, as this one only happened 5-6 days ago... still late though, I heard about this on the radio 4 days ago.

By bradmshannon on 9/21/2009 8:47:56 AM , Rating: 3
It's toothclops!!! AAAHHHHH!!!

RE: OMG...
By FITCamaro on 9/21/2009 9:35:55 AM , Rating: 4
I know I'm going to hell but that lady's eye is scary as sh*t. I'd expect flame to shoot out of her mouth looking at that thing.

RE: OMG...
By tastyratz on 9/21/2009 11:24:38 AM , Rating: 2
The only thing that was achieved is she can now look in the mirror to realize what they did to her turned her into what nightmares are made of. That lady lives under my bed.

RE: OMG...
By jconan on 9/21/2009 3:23:34 PM , Rating: 2
Those are pretty harsh comments. However she does resemble the character from Clone High - Marie Curie... I'm sure that the cosmetic surgeons can do a makeover for her too to relieve the traumatic appearance since it is a trial run of the 1st in the US.

So theres this feature called spell check...?
By xex89 on 9/21/2009 5:39:22 PM , Rating: 2
Ms. Thornton, was legally blinded by a unexpected reaction to a drug in 2000. Her options were limited, as here eye surface was too dry for a corneal implant.

I know Word doesn't have the best spell check, but this is getting a little ridiculous, DT is supposed to be a news source!

By Cullinaire on 9/22/2009 3:39:27 AM , Rating: 2
How the hell would spell check catch that mistake? Only having enough pride in one's work to proofread articles before posting them could do that.


By AstroGuardian on 9/22/2009 3:37:56 AM , Rating: 2
I would like to have an eye implant so i can see in infra red also. It would pretty much help in my everyday life.

By MrPoletski on 9/25/2009 8:56:26 AM , Rating: 2
Why? so you can tell when she's hot for you?

Wow, just, wow...
By Moohbear on 9/21/2009 9:35:16 AM , Rating: 2
It's like pure genius meeting downright madness...

RE: Wow, just, wow...
By geddarkstorm on 9/21/2009 1:03:42 PM , Rating: 2
Weird Science~

Just without the hot chick.

An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.
By Frankenshteen on 9/22/2009 5:49:11 AM , Rating: 2
An eye for a tooth, a tooth for an eye.

By MrPoletski on 9/25/2009 9:00:04 AM , Rating: 2
looks like she got a war wound, injured in a military, probably during the search for weapons of tooth destruction in eye-rack...

Balls Gout
By cruisin3style on 9/21/2009 2:01:57 PM , Rating: 2
I think the footage from the lens would be more interesting (read: disturbing) if this was Lance Armstrong getting something new.....

"The whole principle [of censorship] is wrong. It's like demanding that grown men live on skim milk because the baby can't have steak." -- Robert Heinlein

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