Cornea transplant rescues an Israeli infant’s eye

The baby, an only daughter who was born to her parents after seven sons, was referred at the age of only four days to the ophthalmology clinic at Schneider Children’s Medical Center.

August 13, 2017 17:39
1 minute read.
baby face

A baby's face. (Illustrative). (photo credit: INGIMAGE)


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Cataracts are routinely removed from the eyes of middle-aged and elderly people and occasionally on children who get donor corneas, but doctors at the Schneider Children’s Medical Center in Petah Tikva have transplanted a cornea into the left eye of a five-months-old baby girl and saved her from blindness in that eye.

It was the first time that Schneider ophthalmologists, which have performed many operations, have done the procedure on such a small infant.

The baby, an only daughter who was born to her parents after seven sons, was referred at the age of only four days to the ophthalmology clinic at Schneider, suffering from a condition called Peter’s anomaly. The diagnosis, analysis and follow- up were performed by the ophthalmology team headed by Dr. Gad Dotan, and the surgery was performed by Dr. Uri Elbaz, an expert in corneal diseases there.

“The operation was complicated by the size of the eye in such a young infant and the need to change the standard surgical technique,” said Elbaz. “Today, a few months after the operation, the girl is recovering well with a transparent implant and her intra-ocular pressure is normal.

At a young age, the chances of tissue rejection are greater than in adults, so the baby will need frequent monitoring to prevent future complications.

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