Surgeons perform world’s first eye transplant
Doctors at New York University Langone Health announced the healthcare milestone on Thursday. Aaron James received a partial face transplant, including a working eye, six months ago. Although cornea surgeries have been successfully performed in the past, this operation marks the first time an entire eye has been successfully transplanted. The transplant came from a donor who also donated organs to others. James, a high-voltage utility line worker, had a severe accident with a high-power voltage line in 2021. It destroyed James’ arm, nose, and much of his face. He experienced so much pain in his left eye that it had to be removed.
Is the transplanted eye functional? Doctors say there is blood supply to the eye and the retina is healthy, but James cannot currently see out of the eye. He is beginning to feel sensations in the face transplant. MRIs have revealed there is brain activity in connection with the transplanted eye. It’s still unclear if James will be able to see with the eye in the future.
Dig deeper: From the WORLD archives, read Charissa Koh and Daniel Devine’s report about organ transplants in 2020.
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