Surgery at Dubai hospital cures Omani baby from rare eye disease

Dr Sandip Mitra (right) with the Omani baby after surgery. — Supplied photo
Dr Sandip Mitra (right) with the Omani baby after surgery. — Supplied photo

Dubai - The two-month-old, who was suffering from Peters Anomaly that affects one in a million people, underwent a procedure called pupilloplasty

By Saman Haziq

Published: Wed 23 Jun 2021, 5:39 PM

Last updated: Wed 23 Jun 2021, 5:41 PM

When a two-month-old baby was brought from neighbouring Oman to Dubai to treat his regressing eyesight, doctors at Al Zahra Hospital Dubai (AZHD) found that the child had a rare eye condition that affects one in a million people.

The baby was suffering from Peters Anomaly, a congenital defect that causes an opaque area in the centre of the cornea and can quickly lead to blindness.

The child required an urgent corneal transplant (keratoplasty), which is a surgical procedure to replace part of the cornea with corneal tissue from a donor.

“The rare eye condition is caused by genes that affect the embryonic development of the eye, with the side effects including blurred vision, glaucoma, cataract, and possible blindness. Typically, the treatment preferred is a corneal transplant and is usually initiated from an early age of two months up to two years,” said Dr Sandip Mitra, ophthalmologist at AZHD.

However, Dr Mitra said that although corneal transplant would help clear up and improve the child’s vision, it is fraught with several complications and is especially challenging in children, leading to graft failure in most cases.

“Besides, most cases require revision surgeries and experience multiple side effects including glaucoma and blurred vision,” he said.

Due to the surgical procedure’s complications and challenges, Dr Mitra decided to perform a simple procedure called pupilloplasty to manage the baby's condition.

Pupilloplasty is a surgical procedure that is performed on the iris to adjust the shape or function of the pupil.

According to Dr Mitra, pupilloplasty is the most suitable procedure for such cases because it prevents postoperative complications and allows the access of light into the eye.

Once the surgical procedure was completed, the child immediately recovered with adequate eyesight, gaining the ability to see his parents for the first time.

Choosing a different route allowed the child to avoid major surgeries and to improve vision significantly.

“Pupilloplasty is a smart choice that opens the opportunity for other patients of Peters Anomaly to undergo a simpler procedure with a higher rate of success. Moreover, numerous children suffering from Peters Anomaly can avoid going through multiple revision surgeries and can find an effective treatment at an early age, allowing them to develop normally,” Dr Mitra said.

The corneal transplant, he added, can be done when the child becomes an adult, usually at the age of 18, when the chances of success are much higher and the benefits much bigger. Dr Mitra has successfully performed around 10,000 corneal grafts.

More news from Healthcare