Novel Keratoconus Surgery Performed in Australia for the First Time

The very first corneal allogenic intrastromal ring segment surgery (CAIRS) for keratoconus has just been completed in Australia. It was completed at Queensland Eye Institute by David Gunn.

This procedural technique was first developed in India by Soosan Jacob at Agarwal’s Eye Hospital. Soosan discussed this method  in an interview in 2017, sharing how the donor issue is extracted and how the surgery itself is preformed. You can listen to this full interview here.

CAIRS Surgery

The previous surgery approach for keratoconus utilized corneal implants made of plastic. This surgery is very effective. However, there is a high rate of complications. The plastic implant lasts between five and ten years before problems arise. Complications may include implant erosion, corneal melt, and infection.

The new CAIRS surgery uses donor corneal tissue instead of plastic This is a much safer procedure than the one using plastic and the risk of infection is much lower. Further, it lasts much longer because the tissue has biocompatibility. It is also less risky than a full corneal graft. This type of surgery can also be utilized for patients who have severe disease due to its improvements.

Researchers are hopeful that this new surgery could mean that fewer patients have to undergo a dangerous procedure or use hard contact lenses long-term. Patients typically start out with glasses, but as the disease progresses, hard contacts are the only option. As it was, 20% of all patients needed a full corneal graft in order to restore their vision.

This new procedure could provide similar benefits, fixing the cornea’s shape, but without having to remove the patient’s own tissue.

The CAIRS procedure takes only 30 minutes. For just a half-hour procedure, the effects are miraculous. Although they are not instantaneous (significant improvements can be expected within 0ne month’s time), these effects are expected to continue for quite a while.

Even more impressive, these effects should be permanent.

You can read more about this novel procedure for keratoconus here.

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