The tooth that restored sight…

February 28, 2008

I was browsing Digg today, and an interesting story caught my eye (no pun intended there.) The story was about a man who had become blind about two years ago when he fell victim to a freak accident involving exploding red-hot liquid aluminum. Out of all of the senses to lose, sight is the one and only that would completely devastate my life the most. I think I could live without smell, taste, touch or even hearing, but sight, I could not live without.

Everything I enjoy doing, from reading, to writing, and even playing video games requires sight more then hearing.  Sure, hearing is definately a plus, but someone who is deaf can play a video game.

According to the article, a procedure called Osteo-Odonto-Keratoprosthesis or OOKP for short, can restore some sight to someone who has lost all sight. The procedure is performed by Dr Christopher Liu at Sussex Eye Hospital in Brighton, England.  I am not a Doctor, so I don’t think I would be able to explain it properly, so I’ve included an excerpt from the article in question.

Excerpt From: Yahoo News
“The technique, pioneered in Italy in the 1960s, involves creating a support for an artificial cornea from the patient’s own tooth and the surrounding bone.

The procedure used on McNichol involved his son Robert, 23, donating a tooth, its root and part of the jaw.

McNichol’s right eye socket was rebuilt, part of the tooth inserted and a lens inserted in a hole drilled in the tooth.

The first operation lasted ten hours and the second five hours.”

According to the article, the procedure was a success, and the patient was able to recover enough of his sight to get around, and to be able to watch TV again.  Its an impressive improvement, considering he couldn’t see at all before the procedure.

Medical technology is advancing at an ever increasing speed, with new medical equipement and procedures tested and proven all the time. At this rate, maybe we will able to attain immortality – hopefully before I get too old.

Either, it’s good to know that if I ever do lose my sight, there is still hope for recovering it.

[From: Yahoo News]

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