Vision Share announced that Ahad Mahootchi, MD, Medical Director of The Eye Clinic of Florida Same Day Surgery Center in Zephyrhills, has performed the first pre-Descemet's endothelial keratoplasty (PDEK) corneal transplant procedure to rely on an eye bank prepared and preloaded Descemet’s membrane graft.
PDEK transplantation uses a single-cell layer of corneal tissue. The procedure makes a transplant possible for people with complex cases, but the tissue traditionally has taken doctors hours to prepare. The Lions Eye Institute for Transplant & Research (LEITR) in Tampa, a Vision Share partner, prepared the tissue for this groundbreaking surgery and delivered it to Dr. Mahootchi preloaded in the injector, ready to use in PDEK surgery.
“LEITR made a very difficult surgery very easy. Having the tissue prestamped, prestained and preloaded in the injector saved me over an hour of time. It also saved me the financial risk of torn tissue had I prepared it myself,” Dr. Mahootchi said in a news release. “Preloaded tissue opens the door for wider adoption of PDEK, which has all the advantages of Descemet's membrane endothelial keratoplasty (DMEK), with added reliability in unrolling the tissue in vitrectomized eyes or those with prior YAG capsulotomy. Patients with PDEK experience less rejection and need for long-term steroids.”
For LEITR President and CEO Jason K. Woody, this industry first represents an ongoing commitment to advancing corneal transplantation. “The Lions Eye Institute is proud to be recognized as an industry leader in transplant and research endeavors. This new procedure will continue our mission in helping restore sight to those blind or visually impaired.”
“The partnership of Dr. Mahootchi and The Lions Eye Institute exemplifies the work of Vision Share,” Philip I. Waitzman, Vision Share President and CEO, said in the news release. “Like top surgeons, expertise and innovation are our hallmarks. Advancing PDEK with prepared tissue is one more step we are making together. When doctors who demand the best surgical outcomes work hand in hand with Vision Share and its partners, we can make exciting new advances in the fight against blindness.”