Rare Procedure saves Eye Sight with a Tooth

Modified osteo-odonto-keratoprosthesis (MOOKP) has been used for the first time in the USA on Sharon Thornton, from Smithdale, Mississippi. The procedure involves taking one of the patients’s teeth and placing it into the eye to secure a prosthetic lens in place.

First, the tooth and surrounding bone is removed, fashioned into a bolt-like shape and a plastic lens is bonded with it. This construction is then placed into the patients cheek or shoulder, in order to create a new blood supply and tissue.

After three-four months, this is removed and inserted into the eye, the membrane from the cheek being placed over it.

MOOKP, originally developed in Italy, was conducted in USA for the first time by Dr Victor Perez. Dr Perez was trained in MOOKP last year, by Dr Giancarlo Falcinelli who developed the procedure out of the standard OOKP. He explains that certain patients bodies reject an artificial or transplanted cornea and so using a tooth to secure the lens is done as a final option.

Mrs Thornton was able to make out faces later the same day as her operation and could read print two weeks later. Her eyesight is expected to continue improving over time.

Though the MOOKP was a success, the use of the procedure is widely criticised. Being so complex and requiring several operations, it requires a large team to be conducted. Dr. Christopher Liu from Brighton’s Sussex Eye Hospital notes that each of the various stages takes many hours to perform. It is also criticised on the fact that the result of MOOKP is a form of disfigurement. The fleshy mucous covering the eye makes it bright red and, therefore, thoroughly conspicuous. Monday 28th September 2009

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