17 July 2010
By Pratibha Masand
It was only last week that doctors at J J Hospital, in a rare operation, were able to restore partial sight to his right eye. His left eye was damaged beyond repair.
After 15 years of living in darkness, running from doctor to doctor hoping for a miracle, the elated senior citizen is happy that he can finally "see something’’.
"No doctor was ready to touch my case because there were a number of complications. I also developed cataract in both eyes,’’ said Chavan. "I had been using those eye drops on the recommendation of a relative who told me my eyesight would become better. Initially, there was no effect. I deluded myself into thinking that it was improving my sight. But as some months passed, my vision became hazy. I was short–sighted at the time, and soon even objects near me began to appear blurred. There came a time, when I lost sight completely, first in my left eye, then in the right. I also lost my job,’’ he added.
It was only last month that Chavan decided to knock on the doors of J J Hospital for help. "When he came to us, we realised that his irises were stuck to both his cornea. There was no space for light to be refracted and create an image. This happened due to years of neglect and wrong use of medicines,’’ said Dr T P Lahane, dean and ophthalmology surgeon at J J Hospital in south Mumbai.
The surgery was a complicated procedure. "His left eye was just dead. But we found a very slight gap between his right cornea and iris. We parted the two completely, after which, his cornea had to be cut out along with the cataract membrane. A graft–a cornea donated by the family of a patient who had passed away–was sutured in place,’’ said Dr Lahane, adding that it was a rare case even by public hospital standards.
The surgery took place a week ago, and the results of the operation have been encouraging. Chavan can see up to a distance of one metre with his right eye. "Within two days I could see again. The first person I saw was my wife,’’he said.
Living In Darkness
When he was 50–years–old, Krishna Chavan, now 65, started using spurious drops to treat his weak eyesight. But within a few months, he lost sight in both eyes THE OPERATION A month ago, Chavan approached doctors at J J Hospital for the first time.
Doctors decided to operate on his right eye. They first separated the cornea from the iris and created an antechamber
The membrane cataract and lens of the eye was removed The space was filled with a liquid called Visco substance
A graft (a cornea donated by another patient) was sutured in place Chavan can now see up to a one–meter distance with his right eye His left eye, however, is beyond repair