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Sight-saving eye surgery available in Cayman

Health Care 02 Nov, 2022 Follow News

HSA Ophthalmologist Dr Ermanno Scerrati

Lions Eye Clinic patient Menalia Ramos-Ulloa

The future looks brighter for four individuals who, after receiving a sight-saving operation by HSA’s Ophthalmologist Dr Ermanno Scerrati, have either fully recovered their vision or are on the way to a full recovery.

A cornea transplant, also called keratoplasty, is a surgical procedure to replace part of a damaged cornea with healthy corneal tissue from a donor. It can restore or improve vision, lessen pain, and possibly improve the appearance of the cornea if it is white and scarred, all leading to a better-quality life.

Prior to joining the HSA Dr Scerrati had performed over 200 cornea transplant surgeries across several countries. The first patient to receive this operation at the HSA was 63-year-old Caymanian Grace Williams who was experiencing pain and visual deterioration in her left eye. Dr Scerrati saved her eyesight and has since begun repairing the vision of others in Cayman, including Menalia Ramos-Ulloa.

Mrs Ramos-Ulloa was suffering from severe blurred vision, frequent pain and redness of her eye before her private ophthalmologist referred her to Dr Scerrati, aware of his ability to perform corneal transplant procedures.

After consulting with Mrs Ramos-Ulloa, Dr Scerrati confirmed that her cornea was completely decompensated, a complication from an earlier cataract surgery she had received. In the prior surgery, an artificial replacement for lens otherwise known as intraocular lens (IOL) was implanted in her eye but had become dislocated.

Dr Scerrati successfully performed the challenging procedure, which included a corneal transplant as well as IOL extraction in September and plans to completely restore Mrs Ramos-Ulloa’s vision by replacing her dislocated IOL with a new one.

Although still in the recovery phase, Mrs Ramos-Ulloa expressed her optimism about her surgery and its final outcome. “I think my surgery has been a success. I have faith in God and confidence in Dr Scerrati.” 

Before being offered at the HSA, the last cornea transplant surgery was performed over a decade ago on island and patients in need of the procedure were referred overseas. After his arrival, Dr Scerrati and the Ophthalmic Technician Diane Benson established a continuous partnership with the Florida Lions Eye Bank that helps to supply eye tissue locally to patients who require surgery. 

“There are numerous corneal pathologies that can lead to the patient requiring a corneal transplant. These may range from congenital corneal dystrophies and complications from cataract surgeries to corneal scars resulting from infection or corneal penetrating trauma,” explained Dr Scerrati. “Whatever the cause, we want people suffering from these issues to know that a solution is available locally.”

“The Lion’s Eye Clinic is proud to announce that we have the technology, knowledge, and full capability to perform this surgery. Our team at the HSA, from Ms Benson to the operating room staff, always go the extra mile to ensure the best outcomes for our patients and to this date, all our corneal transplants have been successful.”

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