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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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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.

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