10 December 2011, Muscat: Muscat Eye Laser Center, the Sultanate’s leading eye-care clinic, is combining technological advances in corneal transplantation surgery, cutting-edge surgical techniques and superior in-house expertise to dramatically improve the quality of life for patients with corneal pathology.
Until recently, the procedure of choice for most patients with severe diseased or damaged corneas was to undergo a full-thickness corneal transplant (also known as a penetrating keratoplasty), in which the entire cornea is replaced, even if only a portion of the cornea is diseased. While this procedure is still being carried out at Muscat Eye Laser Center for those who have severely damaged cornea, ophthalmologists at the Center have also mastered new innovative procedures that allow for the removal and replacement of only the affected layer of the corneal tissue.
The upshot, says Dr. Juan G. Graviria, Scientific Director, is that patients now enjoy better outcomes, faster recovery and even enhanced visual results. “Muscat Eye Laser Center has been quick to embrace the benefits of an ongoing revolution in corneal transplantation techniques and approaches to deliver superior outcomes for patients with corneal problems. Through such ground-breaking, layered surgical approaches, we can now customise corneal transplant surgery for individual patients, thereby ensuring significantly enhanced outcomes.”
According to the Scientific Director, the new surgical innovations offer great promise to patients suffering from a wide variety of eye diseases and conditions, three of which have a high rate of prevalence in the Sultanate.
Notable is keratoconus, a severe form of astigmatism in which the shape of the cornea progressively distorts. Also figuring prominently among eye disease trends in Oman is trachoma, an infection that produces severe scarring on the eyelids and anterior parts of the cornea (common in people older than 50 years). Keratoconus and trachoma can be treated with Laser Assisted Lamellar Keratoplasty. Prevalent to a lesser extent is bullous keratopathy, a condition that may arise in patients who have undergone cataract surgery. Bullous keratopathy is treated by DSAEK (Descemet Stripping Automated Endothelial Keratoplasty).
“In all of these diseases and conditions, we can now offer a nuanced, layered approach to corneal transplantation with considerably improved outcomes. Patients no longer need to travel abroad for such treatment and can instead get themselves operated at our world-class facilities at Shatti Al Qurum, thereby ensuring they also receive the requisite follow-up care from their surgeon,” added Dr. Graviria.