Tooth in Eye Surgery

By Anupum Pant

Back in the 60s a very odd technique was developed by doctors in Italy, as a desperate measure to restore vision in a damaged eye. Their process involved using a tooth from the person’s mouth and putting it in the eye for them to be able to see again. That was in the 60s. The procedure has since been done on hundreds of patients successfully and is still being done. In the US, this procedure was done only in the 2009 for the first time. Sounds weird, but true.

Also known as modified osteo-odonto-keratoprosthesis (or MOOKP) among doctors, is done in 3 basic steps. First, a tooth is removed from the patient’s mouth and a hole is drilled into it. A section of the cheek is then removed to form the soft, mucus tissue around her pupil. The hole is then used to support a prosthetic lens which is used in the eye. Basically, the tooth is used as a framework to put the artificial prosthetic lens in the eye.

It is rarely used, only in desperate cases where there are no less invasive alternatives to fix the eye. Other times donated cornea transplant from a deceased donor can be used. But the tooth in eye surgery has a major advantage over that because in this technique, the cheek and tooth tissue used both belong to the same person and there is very less chance of the immune system rejecting the composite.

via [ABC news]

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