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World’s first total eye transplant

The world’s first total eye transplant has been carried out at the Methodist Hospital in Houston. A 54-year-old photographer, John Madden, received the total transplant of the right eye yesterday [April 22] in a one-hour operation, the hospital announced late last night [April 22]. The donor, O.B. Hickman, 55, of Houston, died on Monday [April 21] of a brain tumour at the hospital. It will be about three weeks before it is known whether the surgery was successful, officials said. Madden was suffering from corneal dystrophy, in both eyes. He had undergone a regular cornea transplant in the right eye which was unsuccessful. The surgery was performed by a team headed by doctors Conrad D. Moore and Daniel Sigband. The eye transplant requires the difficult task of connecting donor with the nerve endings of the recipient in order that vision is possible. The upper and lower eye lids of Madden’s right eye were sewn shut after the operation to prevent light, debris or any foreign matter from entering the eye. Madden is not in any special transplant unit as is the practice with transplant patients nor is there any concern about a rejection of the new eye as there is in heart, kidney and other organ transplants, officials said.

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