Friday, 16 September 2016

"My son had black spots in his eyes since the age of two"


"I am an agricultural labourer from Santhapalem village, Kothavalasa mandal, Vizianagaram district. My son, Malluvalasa Pavan Kumar, had black spots in his eyes since the age of two, and his eyelashes were so small that he could not open his eyes easily. The government hospital we consulted referred us to LVPEI in Visakhapatnam. Initially when we came here in 2007, we paid for the check-up and were advised multiple surgeries. Unable to bear the cost of the surgeries, I explained about my financial condition to my consulting doctor. Our request was considered and my son was provided the complete treatment free of cost. Gradually, my son's vision improved, and he is now able to study well and carry out all his work independently. Initially we thought that he will never be able to see, but thanks to LVPEI and the doctors for making this possible."

Sanyasi Rao

(Pavan underwent a corneal transplantation, besides surgeries for squint in both eyes and cataract surgery in his right eye)

Arham won’t be ridiculed by his friends now

Arham Jain, 7, like any other child of his age, is very active and precocious. He was just 9 months old when his parents noticed that his eyeballs appeared crossed and he would constantly tilt his head to adjust his vision. The local doctors in their hometown Kekri, Rajasthan, were unable to manage the problem and suggested LVPEI Hyderabad where he was diagnosed with squint in both eyes. 

Within two days of his first consultation at LVPEI, a surgery was performed on 1 July 2016. “Dr Ramesh Kekunnaya explained in detail about the procedure and assured us that post the surgery at least 60% of the squint will be cured. But to our utter delight, under his skillful hands the surgery was 95% successful. Arham has even stopped tilting his head now. Thanks to Dr Kekunnaya, my son won’t be ridiculed by his friends now!” says Arham’s father Pramod Jain.

Timely intervention for Madhuri from Kulla village

Young Ankam Madhuri, 9, was lying down and watching TV at night, when her 2 year old cousin accidentally injured Madhuri’s right eye with a pen. The very next day, she was brought to the Kapileswarapuram Vision Centre in East Godavari District, Andhra Pradesh where Uday Kiran, the vision technician, noticed her prolapsed iris - a condition that needed immediate medical and surgical intervention - and referred her to LVPEI’s advanced care centre. 

Madhuri had lost her mother a year back and her father was bedridden. Her village Kulla was 10 kilometers away from Kapileswarapuram. Bringing her to Hyderabad for treatment was difficult for her uncle but the project coordinator Madhava Krishna coordinated their visit. 

The Corneal team at Hyderabad led by Dr Pravin Krishna operated on her cornea to treat the injury and restore its original shape. Madhuri is now happily going to school. “We are amazed with the results of the surgery and timely treatment given completely free of cost to someone from a remote village like ours,” says her uncle Gopati Sundar Rao.

Thursday, 18 August 2016

Winning the patient's trust

Masoom Ahmed was just 3 when his parents noticed that his left eye was relatively small compared to the other eye. The local doctor in Basti, Uttar Pradesh referred him to specialists in Delhi. It was a case of Retinal Detachment (RD). Unfortunately, the surgery was not a success and Masoom lost the vision in his left eye. Eventually, he began experiencing diminishing vision in his right eye as well and soon lost all vision.

In September 2012 they consulted at LVPEI and a vitrectomy surgery for RD was advised. “Based on our past experience, I was very skeptical but Ruksana ji and Arundhati ji (patient care counselors) put all my fears to rest. After meeting Dr Raja Narayanan, I was convinced that my son is now in safe hands,” recalls his father, Musheer Ahmed. The surgery of the right eye was a success and 50% of his vision was restored. 

Masoom is 13 today, and studies in 9th Grade with the help of assistive devices such as the magnifier and telescope - prescribed by the Vision Rehabilitation team at LVPEI. He is doing well in his academics and aspires to become a professor.

From Oman, for better and affordable treatment

Mohammed Ali, 22, a poor farmer from Oman sustained severe burn injuries in both his eyes at a construction site where explosives were being used. The left eye suffered complete vision loss. He applied honey on his wounds for some relief from the severe burning sensation. But to his dismay, gradually the vision in his right eye too started diminishing. His acquaintances suggested LVPEI for better and affordable treatment, and he also had a cousin in Hyderabad. 

His left eye was beyond treatment but there was some hope for his right eye.  Twelve days after his visit to LVPEI on 1 July 2016, Boston Keratoprosthesis with Ahmed glaucoma valve was performed owing to which he now has functional vision and plans to resume farming once he is back home. To improve the cosmetic appeal of his face, a prosthetic eye has been prepared for his left eye. “Dr Bhupesh Bagga, Dr Sirisha Senthil and the treating nurses went out of their way to make us feel comfortable. Despite the language barrier, the doctors took extra efforts to explain the treatment and the post operative care,” says his cousin, Saleh Hamed.

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

How a diligent doctor slayed the swamp monster!

When Shraddha Sharma, a worried 34 year old mother of two little children came to the emergency clinic on the 8 April 2016 for the treatment of a corneal infection, she had already been told that her eye will need to be removed due to a severe infection.  She had been on treatment of this condition for 2 months and had undergone a therapeutic corneal transplant to get rid of the infection a fortnight ago in Indore.
Before surgery

However the infection just refused to go away and had recurred with renewed vigour in the new graft too. When we saw her, she had a a total corneal infection that had even begun to spread to the white part of the eye - the sclera.

Diagnostics done at the microbiology lab revealed that she had an infection with a deadly organism called Pythium insidiosum and we knew we were in for a battle as all previous patients with a recurrent infection with this organism, also called the “Swamp Monster” had lost their eye.

Till recently this organism, which causes infection in horses was treated as a fungus and with traditional therapy.  This was when Alisha Desai, a young Cornea fellow decided to spend a night researching this organism and stumbled upon literature from veterinary science that provided a clue! Pythium, traditionally treated as a fungus was not actually a fungus but a primitive organism called a prokaryote and was susceptible to non mainstream drugs like linezolid and azithromycin, which nobody in Ophthalmology, anywhere in the world had thought of before!
After surgery and antibiotic treatment

Though there were no reports of these drugs being used for this infection in human eyes, we decided to bite the bullet and along with Jay Chhablani, our retina colleague, operated on the eye for a second repeat transplant and injected the new drugs repeatedly in the eye. Our hypothesis was supported fully by Dr Savitri Sharma, our senior microbiologist, who provided laboratory proof of our new drugs working. 


Though we kept our fingers crossed, magically Shraddha started to respond and three months after the ordeal made a  dramatic recovery and is now completely free of the deadly infection. She has a very good vision now and can finally concentrate on what is really important for her…her children!

Treating Corneal Infections in the Newborn

For Prachi and Naresh, the joy on the arrival of their new born was short lived when their consulting doctor in Nanded, Maharashtra, informed them that the severe redness in both the eyes of the baby was a sign of an infection that needed immediate attention. Heeding to his advice, Ishanvi was brought to LVPEI the very second day of her birth in September 2014. The corneas  in both her eyes were already perforated due to Pseudomonas infection– a fatal infection that spreads very rapidly damaging the corneas within few days. Glue plus bandage contact lens was applied to both her eyes to seal the perforation. She was also put on medication to completely curb the infection and then when she was 21-days old, a corneal transplantation was successfully performed in both her eyes by Dr Bhupesh Bagga.

When she turned one, she developed symptoms of dryness in her eyes. Tarsorrhaphy - a surgical procedure in which the eyelids are partially sewn together to narrow the opening and thus prevent the cornea from any further dryness an trauma was performed.

Ishanvi will soon be three and her parents are very satisfied with the treatment that she received at TKCI LVPEI. “Thanks to her treating doctor and the timely treatment, she can today walk around independently, identify colours and is as active as any other child of her age” said the proud parents during their recent follow up visit to the institute. Once she becomes a little older, the stitches on her eyelids will be removed and she will be prescribed glasses which her parents and doctors hope, will rectify her vision completely.