The ophthalmology team at the HSA recently performed an eye saving corneal transplant on a 63-year-old Caymanian woman.
The patient Grace Williams consulted at the Lion’s Eye Clinic, for worsening pain and visual disturbance in the left eye. After evaluation and observation, Consultant Ophthalmologist Dr. Ermanno Scerrati recommended corneal transplant surgery to prevent further deterioration of her vision and eventual loss of that eye.
Corneal transplant, otherwise known as keratoplasty, is a surgical procedure to replace part of a damaged cornea with healthy corneal tissue from a donor. The last procedure of this kind was performed over a decade ago on island.
“There are a lot of nerve endings in the cornea. Without treatment Ms Williams faced the risk of losing her eye. There would come a point when it becomes very painful that the whole eye would have to be removed,” explained Dr Scerrati.
Dr. Scerrati, who joined the HSA early last year, has over eight years’ experience performing corneal surgery. “This is an operation that requires an extremely skilled corneal trained ophthalmologist. There are not a lot of room for errors,” said Ophthalmic Technician Diane Benson. “In the past, patients requiring this surgery had to travel overseas to have it performed, but Dr Scerrati’s expertise with corneal grafts and transplants now allows us to offer this sight-saving service at the HSA. It will benefit a number of our patients and significantly change their lives for the better.”
Before Ms Williams surgery was performed the corneal tissue necessary for operation had to be obtained from overseas. The Eye Clinic team submitted a request to the Florida Lions Eye Bank where they procured the tissue as well as established a continuous partnership that will help to supply eye tissue to their patients requiring surgery in the future.
“This is HSA’s first corneal transplant surgery and it’s success can be attributed to the collaborative effort of the eye clinic and operating room teams,” said Dr Scerrati. “I also thank Ms Williams for trusting our clinical advice and expertise. Her recovery is going smoothly and we will continue to monitor her progress.”
“The surgery went well, and I would definitely recommend it to persons who need it,” said Ms Williams. “Dr Scerrati and the eye clinic team are both skilled and compassionate. They go the extra mile to help their patients and for that I am grateful.”