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Eye Surgeon Restores Vision with Iris Implant

  • Published: 2011-02-18 : Author: Rosenthal Eye Surgery & Rosenthal Facial Plastic Surgery
  • Synopsis: Procedure was a success with vision being transformed from legal blindness to being able to drive without glasses.

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Co-inventor of the custom iris implant has performed the rare surgery to restore the vision of New Haven teen.

A young man born without irises--the colored portion of the eye--is seeing clearer today as a result of a vision-restoring surgery performed at the New York Ear and Eye Infirmary last month. A custom-made artificial iris allows the patient to see more normally. The procedure was performed by the co-inventor of the iris implant, Dr. Kenneth J. Rosenthal, who also performed the world's first such procedure in 1996. The procedure was an immediate success, with the patient's vision being transformed from legal blindness to being able to drive without glasses.

The iris not only gives the eye color, it performs a crucial role in vision by controlling the amount of light that enters the eye. About one in 50,000 people is born without irises, a condition known as aniridia. Aniridia leads to legal blindness.

The iris implants are custom-made and painted to look like natural irises. They are not currently approved by the FDA, but are available under a "compassionate use device exemption," which allows un-approved devices to be used for rare conditions when no other treatment option exists. The implant is approved for use in Europe, and Dr. Rosenthal hopes to begin enrolling doctors and patients for a clinical trial that may lead to FDA approval. "Many people could have their vision restored by this device," says Dr. Rosenthal. "I think we should work to make it more available."

The implant surgery is performed in two stages. This patient will have surgery to replace the iris in his other eye at the end of March.

To learn more about how the eye works and how eye diseases are treated, please visit today.

About Rosenthal Eye Surgery & Rosenthal Facial Plastic Surgery -As Surgeon Director of the practice, Dr. Rosenthal specializes in laser vision correction, cataract surgery, as well as cosmetic facial plastic surgery. His practice is truly unique in providing a perfect balance between compassionate, individualized care and truly state of the art technology. Because of this he is often asked to consult and operate on difficult cases referred by fellow ophthalmologists, and has lectured to professionals and civic groups on five continents. He has been named one of the Best Doctors of Long Island and is in Who's Who of American Inventors for his patent for surgical techniques and devices.

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