First eye transplant. Amazing feat of surgeons from New York

Aaron James, a 46-year-old electrician and National Guard veteran from Arkansas, has become the first person to have a complete human eye implanted — complete with optic nerve, eye socket and eyelids — as surgeons from the New York Center announced. As part of a partial face transplant. Stem cells taken from the same donor’s bone marrow were also implanted to regenerate the nerve.

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James was electrocuted and lost his left eye, arm and most of his face. The donor, a 30-year-old, had organs, including lungs, transplanted into three other patients.

Despite fears that the new eye would be rejected by the body or dry up due to insufficient blood supply, four months after the 21-hour operation, the new eye was accepted, in good shape and healthy. Although tests showed the patient’s brain was responding to light through his left pupil, James was unable to see it or move his eyelids. Ophthalmologist Dr Vaidehi Tetania, who performed the surgery, doubts that vision will ever fully recover. However, he assessed that while this was not the main purpose of transplantation, it was possible.

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