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
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.
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."
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
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
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