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A Tooth for an Eye – Implanted Tooth Gives Woman Her Eyesight Back

Posted Sep 16 2009 10:21pm

This is really wild and at the same time makes sense to use a tooth to hold the implanted lens if her body was rejecting an artificial cornea or lens.  Amazing that the tooth can serve another purposes and brought eyesight back for this woman who had been blind.  When you read the definition image below on the disease she had, it could have been created by medication, but the article did not specify, so the scaring must have spread to her eyes.  I looked at a few pictures on the web and the disease is not pretty by any means and looks nasty not only in size but color too as it affects the skin.   BD 

Sharron "Kay" Thornton, from the southern US state of Mississippi, lost her sight in 2000 when she came down with a case of Stevens-Johnson syndrome, a rare disease that scarred her cornea, according to the University of Miami's Bascom Palmer Eye Institute.

For patients whose bodies reject a transplanted or artificial cornea, this procedure "implants the patient's tooth in the eye to anchor a prosthetic lens and restore vision," said Thornton's surgeon Victor Perez.

In the procedure -- which was pioneered in Italy but was a first in the United States -- the medical team extracted Thornton's canine or "eyetooth" and surrounding bone, shaved and sculpted it, and drilled a hole into it to insert an optical cylinder lens.

From the Mayo Clinic:

  Stevens-Johnson syndrome is a rare, serious disorder in which your skin and mucous membranes react severely to a medication or infection. Often, Stevens-Johnson syndrome begins with flu-like symptoms, followed by a painful red or purplish rash that spreads and blisters, eventually causing the top layer of your skin to die and shed.

Implanted tooth helps blind US woman recover sight

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