Eye operation first for HK

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 26 January, 1994, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 26 January, 1994, 12:00am

A DELICATE and risky eye operation which could restore the sight of thousands of partially blind elderly people has been carried out for the first time in Hong Kong.

The microsurgery, performed in only a handful of places worldwide, has been used on 10 patients suffering from retinal degeneration at the Prince of Wales Hospital in the past four months.

But doctors admitted that only half of them are likely to experience an improvement in vision, while the sight of one patient will probably suffer as a result of the operation.

Professor Patrick Ho Chi-ping, an ophthalmologist who performed the surgery, said: ''The operation is a very delicate procedure in which there is a serious risk of losing all sight.

''Because of this we will not be able to make widespread use of this surgery until we are sure that the operations are being performed successfully.'' The operation involves cutting a small hole in the retina and then carefully dissecting and removing the scar with specially designed instruments after which the hole is sealed with a laser.