Surgeons in New York say they have performed the world’s first complete eye transplant on a man, although it is not certain he will regain vision.
Surgeons in New York have achieved a groundbreaking medical milestone by performing the world’s first complete eye transplant on Aaron James, a 46-year-old utility worker from Arkansas. James, who survived a high-voltage electrical accident, underwent a 21-hour surgery replacing half of his face. This involved a rare partial face transplant in addition to the eye transplant, with over 140 healthcare professionals contributing.
The surgery, conducted by NYU Langone Health surgeons, has been labeled a pivotal moment in the quest to restore vision globally. While James is recovering well, the certainty of him regaining vision remains uncertain. Dr. Eduardo Rodriguez, a leading surgeon, emphasized the accomplishment, stating they have paved the way for future advancements in vision restoration.
Despite not claiming guaranteed sight restoration, doctors noted direct blood flow to the retina, offering a unique insight into the healing process of the human eye. James, a military veteran, expressed optimism about the potential impact on the medical field. His progress, deemed “exceptional” by Dr. Bruce E.
The surgery, which utilized a donated face and eye from a single male donor in his 30s, involved injecting adult stem cells into the optic nerve to facilitate repair. James, the 19th person in the US to undergo a face transplant, expressed gratitude to the donor’s family, calling the eye transplant “life-changing.” His wife, Meagan James, described the post-surgery moment as a mix of emotions but expressed joy that everything went well.
Aaron with his daughter and wife
While the path to sight restoration is uncertain, James remains positive about the potential impact on medical advancements. The surgery has not only transformed his appearance but also provided hope for future breakthroughs in vision restoration.