In a breakthrough medical achievement, doctors at NYU Langone Health performed the world’s first complete eye and partial facial transplant surgery on a 46-year-old Army veteran from Arkansas. Aaron James, who survived a high-voltage electrical accident, underwent a 21-hour surgical procedure that replaced 50 percent of his facial structures.
according to release The surgery involves transplanting the entire left eye and part of the face from a single donor, making it the first human whole eye transplant in medical history and the only transplant of its kind, according to the hospital. This was the only successful case.
It is still unclear whether the vision in the newly transplanted left eye will recover.
The NYU Langone Health medical team also worked to improve the appearance of his new face by providing structural support to the transplanted eye sockets and eyelids.
The surgery was performed by more than 140 surgeons, nurses, and other medical professionals led by Eduardo D. Rodriguez, MD, DDS, director of the face transplant program, and Helen L. Kimmel, professor of reconstructive plastic surgery. It was held on May 27th by a team named Hansjörg Wiss, Department of Plastic Surgery, Department of Surgery, New York University Langone;
“Aaron is extremely motivated to regain the function and independence he lost after his injury. I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect patient,” Dr. Rodriguez said. “Much of our success in this monumental endeavor is due to the outstanding institutional support we receive at NYU Langone and the unwavering dedication of our world-class team to providing the highest level of care to our patients. This achievement demonstrates our ability to embrace our social responsibility to meet our most difficult challenges and drive continued progress in the field of transplantation and beyond. ”
This exciting milestone paves the way for new opportunities for future breakthrough developments in vision therapy and other related medical fields.