Surgeons in New York announced on Thursday that they completed the world’s first eye transplant, an accomplishment hailed as a medical breakthrough, despite the patient not regaining sight in the grafted eye.
The surgery was performed six months ago on a US veteran who survived a high-voltage electrical accident that destroyed the left side of his face, his nose, his mouth, and his left eye.
While the patient has yet to regain sight, the surgical team noted that the transplanted eye boasts well-functioning blood vessels and a promising-looking retina.
Up until now, doctors had only been capable of transplanting the cornea.
“The mere fact that we’ve accomplished the first successful whole-eye transplant with a face is a tremendous feat many have long thought was not possible,” Dr. Eduardo D. Rodriguez, who led the team, said in a blog post.