Overseas-based team to conduct corneal transplants at GPHC
– eye patients urged to take advantage of free service
Close to a dozen corneal transplants are slated to be undertaken at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) in the new week.
This is according to a statement issued yesterday by the hospital. The task will be undertaken by the Subraj Foundation Transplantation Team. The team is slated to arrive on June 30 and will be at the GPHC that day to see patients and commence surgeries the same afternoon.
Transplants are scheduled to continue on July 1 and 2.
According to information out of the GPHC the team will perform transplants based on the number of donor corneas it can procure. The team is eyeing a possible 10 transplants during its stay at no cost to patients.
Headed by Dr. Rahul Jindal, the United States-based team previously visited Guyana during which time a total of 26 kidney transplants and six corneal transplants were done. The prior six corneal transplants were successfully done at the Balwant Singh Hospital last August.
The team will comprise three physicians – Dr. Rahul Jindal and two Corneal Tranplant Surgeons – Dr Stephen Waller and Dr. Joseph Pasternak. They will be accompanied by members of the Subraj Foundation Transplantation Team – Mr. George Subraj, Mr. Jay Narain and Mr. Lakhram Persaud.
According to Dr. Shailendra Sugrim, GPHC’s Head of Department of Ophthalmology, over the past month, the Department has been generating a list of patients to be seen by the team on June 30, 2015.
From this pool of patients, the team will decide the suitability for transplant surgery.
The team will be bringing the donor corneas with them along with special microsurgical ophthalmic instruments to perform these surgeries. The visiting Corneal Specialists will work along with local Ophthalmologists to perform the surgeries.
The team is also interested in lobbying for the establishment of an Eye Bank in Guyana from where donor corneas can be stored and kept for transplantation. These donor corneas are taken from cadavers. They have to be stored in a special liquid medium and can survive for a limited period of time.
The cornea – the clear “glass-window” of the eye – refracts light and allows the entrance of light into the eye and this enables us to see. Any disorder that makes the cornea cloudy or opacified can cause severe visual impairment. Many patients who become blind by corneal opacities or disorders can regain their sight via corneal transplants.
The GPHC Department of Ophthalmology is also encouraging any patient who has been previously recommended for corneal transplants by Ophthalmologists to come to the GPHC Eye Clinic with their letter of recommendation from their Ophthalmologist along with all investigations that have been previously done.
Those patients who have already had corneal transplants and would like to have a review by the team can also come to the clinic on Tuesday (June 30) at 8am. Patients are advised to bring along their clinical records of any previous surgery.