Eye Reconstruction Surgery Explained Video

While on duty in Iraq, Randy, 23, lost his right eye and part of his right leg as a result of a bomb explosion. Oculoplastic surgeon Dr. Michael Groth describes the intricate surgery to reconstruct Randy's eye.
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Eye Reconstruction Surgery Explained Dr. Travis Stork: Dr. Groth is with us today. Welcome Sir. Dr. Michael Groth: I’m happy to be here. Dr. Andrew Ordon: Welcome. Hello again. Dr. Michael Groth: Nice to see you again. Dr. Travis Stork: So everyone this is intricate stuff, this surgery. Dr. Michael Groth: Reconstructing the lost eye is one of the greatest challenges we have as plastic surgeons. Randy was missing most of his upper lid, a half of his lower lid, the entire eye ball and most of the muscles around his eye. So there’s very little tissue that work with. So our first step was to restore the volume into the orbit, which is the little bony cave of the eye lives in. We take a small sphere. It used to be made a plastic or a glass or even silicon. Now we use one made of ocean coral which is very light and very porous and your body can grow into it. And this implant gets placed within this bony cave where the eye is, called the orbit and replaces the volume lost by the lost eye. One of the advantages of this type of implant is that the body can grow into these porous and it can actually become a living implant, and that prevents the implant from moving. It also when connected to the artificial light on externally, it can create some movement of the artificial eye, almost like a natural eye. Dr. Andrew Ordon: After this first stage, what did Randy need? Dr. Michael Groth: Well after the first stage, we have to let the eye socket heal for three or four months. During that time, an artificial eye or plastic shell which looks like an oversized contact lens can be placed over the implant once the surface of the lining of the socket heals, and that can be painted to match the natural eye. Dr. Andrew Ordon: And then his eyelids, I mean that was one of his biggest deformities. Dr. Michael Groth: The final step is then to reconstruct the eyelids by either shifting tissue around or moving and grafting tissue from elsewhere in the body to restore the position and contour of the eyelids. Dr. Andrew Ordon: What did you have to do in this particular case? Dr. Michael Groth: Well in his case, I have to reconstruct an upper eyelid and the outer corner of his eyes as well as a portion of the lower eyelid as well. And he’s come along way, as you can see from the photographs. There still little tweaking and little improvement we can make over time. And in fact, as a final touch we’re considering doing some hair grafts to recreate his eye lashes.

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