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Photo by: Kaplan Medical Center
Cornea transplant restores vision for war injured
By JUDY SIEGEL-ITZKOVICH
12/19/2012
Operation restores sight for 47-year-old man who suffered a serious wound in his right eye 26 years ago in Lebanon.
 
The sight of a 47-year-old man who suffered a serious wound in the right eye in Lebanon 26 years ago has been saved with a donated cornea transplanted at Kaplan Medical Center in Rehovot.

The man, Nissim Nahum, said the pain and the partial blindness made it difficult for him to function normally on a daily basis, but that the surgery two weeks ago has already greatly improved his quality of life. His ophthalmological surgeon, Dr. Guy Kleinman, said that the donated transplant has not only eliminated his pains but begun to improve his sight.

Nahum underwent the surgery in the hospital’s ophthalmology department headed by Prof. Ayala Pollack. A synthetic lens was implanted and the donated cornea was transplanted into the right eye, which had been damaged by shrapnel from a hand grenade that a Hezbollah terrorist threw at him east of Tyre. During the attack, a soldier was killed and several others were wounded.

Over the years, the man – who lives in Moshav Nir Banim, near Kiryat Gat – had undergone several procedures to save his eyesight, but nevertheless, his vision continued to decline, and his pain intensified.

He even developed edema in the eye, which blinded him on the right side.

He recently went to consult with Kaplan eye specialists who suggested that he apply for a donated cornea. Now, after the operation, he feels wonderful.

Kleinman, head of the cataract surgery and a cornea surgeon, said that over the course of 26 years, Nahum suffered from separation of the retina that caused great harm to his vision as well as intense pain. Although the surgery was very successful, he will have to undergo intensive rehabilitation until he can see normally in the right eye, he added.

About 800 Israelis are waiting for a donated cornea. The Kaplan ophthalmologists called on the public to sign ADI (Israel Transplant) cards (which can be obtained by calling *6262) to become potential donors and save vision.
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