Due to the accident, the coloured portion (iris) around the man’s pupil and the lens behind the iris had torn and popped out. A blood clot developed in his eye and the man also had increased intra-ocular pressure, that can lead to optic nerve damage and vision loss.
Eye surgeons at the National Institute of Ophthalmology (NIO), where the man was admitted after the accident three months ago, fixed both the iris and the lens back to their places, substantially restoring the man’s vision using the ‘sutureless’ Canabrava technique.
Brazilian eye surgeon Dr Sergio Canabrava made the technique famous across the world in 2022. It involves the insertion of four flanged 5-0 polypropylene (thermoplastic) belt loops into the sclera (the white outer layer of the eyeball). The belt-loop technique does not require scleral flaps or knots.
“It has been three months since the surgery. The patient is showing a slow but steady recovery. His vision has improved from hand movements close to face to 20/50, meaning he can clearly see something 20 feet away that a person with normal vision can see from 50 feet. He is likely to regain normal vision within six months,” NIO’s chief eye surgeon Dr Aditya Kelkar told TOI.
The Canabrava technique is considered safe and has an edge over conventional approaches. “There is no need for conjunctival or scleral dissection or cutting in this novel approach. It is completely sutureless,” Dr Kelkar said.
Nagpur-based eye surgeon Dr Prashant Bawankule, the chairman (academic and research committee), All India Ophthalmological Society, said, “The flanged belt-loop technique overcomes various limitations of the conventional approach and provides long-term stability.”