Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Tooth gives man his sight back


Wat die donder?

27/02/2008 21:16 - (SA). AFP

Dublin - An Irishman blinded by an explosion two years ago has had his sight restored after doctors inserted his son's tooth in his eye, he said on Wednesday.

Bob McNichol, 57, from County Mayo in the west of the country, lost his sight in a freak accident when red-hot liquid aluminium exploded at a re-cycling business in November 2005.

"I thought that I was going to be blind for the rest of my life," McNichol told RTE state radio.

After doctors in Ireland said there was nothing more they could do, McNichol heard about a miracle operation called Osteo-Odonto-Keratoprosthesis (OOKP) being performed by Dr Christopher Liu at the Sussex Eye Hospital in Brighton in England.

The technique, pioneered in Italy in the 1960s, involves creating a support for an artificial cornea from the patient's own tooth and the surrounding bone.

The procedure used on McNichol involved his son Robert, 23, donating a tooth, its root and part of the jaw.

McNichol's right eye socket was rebuilt, part of the tooth inserted and a lens inserted in a hole drilled in the tooth.

The first operation lasted 10 hours and the second five hours.

"It is pretty heavy going," McNichol said. "There was a 65% chance of me getting any sight.

"Now I have enough sight for me to get around and I can watch television. I have come out from complete darkness to be able to do simple things," McNichol said.

Will have to wait for SA Doc to get back from her managed health care world and explain to me the differences between enamel and eyes. :)

Thanks Toby Shapshak for the story...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I too have had this surgery in 2003.
I can read the bottom line of an eye chart, a number plate at 25 yds, and the smallest print on the test sheets.
The downside is that the tooth can reabsorb into the tissues, causing a break in the rim of the hole holding the optic. The surgery can be done again of course as long as the retina is still intact and healthy.
Nobody can imagine what it is really like to be totally blind, unless you have experienced it, even more so to come back from that terrible abyss into the light. It is a feeling of being re-born. standing in Heaven must be like those first few minutes when one realises one can see loved ones and this very beautiful world, we take so much for granted.