KATHMANDU – A lens-sparing vitrectomy (LSV) has been successfully performed at Nepal Eye Hospital, Tripureshwor. This is first-of-its-kind surgery performed at the hospital. Such complex surgeries are rare in Nepal.
Due to retinopathy of pre-maturity (ROP) of the newborn, LSV is done on a condition of blood clot in the eye resulting obstruction to blood passage to the eye.
There was a compulsion to go to India for such surgery cases. The successful performance of LSV surgery in the left eye of a newborn born, aged only 29 weeks, is a historic leap in eye treatment.
The new born who was referred to the hospital underwent an eye surgery on last December 26, Dr Priya Bajgain, who led the complex surgery, said, “This is the first time that LSV surgery was performed on a baby with such a delicate age at Nepal Eye Hospital. The baby was brought to the hospital for follow-up on last Wednesday. I found improvements in both the eyes”.
Under his leadership, the baby was treated with laser technology for ROP problem in the right eye. Dr Bajgain said, “After the successful treatment of the right eye with laser technology, the complicated surgery, LSV, was done in his left eye”.
Dr Bajgain was accompanied by pediatric anesthesiologist Shanta Sapkota. It took more than an hour for retinal specialist Bajgain to perform the LSV surgery on the baby. “Such surgeries are of higher risks”, he said, adding, “But I tried my best to save the baby’s eyes, which was successful. It is also a delightful moment of my life”.
At the time of birth, the baby weighed only 1,200 grams. The baby was treated in the NICU for 28 days after birth. After 34 days of birth, the baby was brought to the eye hospital for eye treatment while he was in the ICU. According to ophthalmologists, the ROP is of five stages when the blood vessels of the eye do not develop.
Dr Bajgain said, “The baby was suffering from problems in both eyes due to low birth weight, pregnancy less than 34 weeks, oxygen therapy due to fluctuations in oxygen at birth, physical, jaundice and stomach problems. Babies born less than 34 weeks of pregnancy or less than two kilograms are at risk of blindness due to ROP.
He is also involved in eye treatment of newborn babies born at Maternity Home Thapathali. Newly appointed Chief Executive Officer of the Eye Hospital, Dharmaraj Gosain said that they have not charged any fee from the parents for the surgery and other treatment of the infant. “As per the policy of the Ministry of Health and Population, we are engaged in a campaign to make eye treatment services better,” he said.
In the coming days, we will adopt a policy to further expand the services of the hospital, he shared. According to Santosh Poudel, medical records officer of the hospital, out of the 157,000 patients served by the hospital last year, 300 were children under 34 weeks of age.