Chinese boy’s sight saved after he receives transplant from part of a pig’s eye

PUBLISHED : Friday, 11 March, 2016, 1:13pm
UPDATED : Friday, 11 March, 2016, 1:13pm

Doctors in southern China have successfully transplanted part of a pig’s eye on to a 14-year-old boy to help save his sight, according to a newspaper report.

The cornea transplant was successfully carried out by a medical team from Zhongshan University in Guangzhou, the Southern Metropolis Daily reported.

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The boy from Jiangxi province in southeast China nearly lost the sight in his right eye after he was injured by a firecracker earlier this year, the newspaper said.

The surgery was carried out late last month and the boy was able to see a week after the procedure, according to the article.

Doctors were quoted as saying that his vision was likely to further improve with more treatment.

The surgery was the first of its kind in southern China, according to the report.

There is a shortage of human corneas available for transplant in China because demand far exceeds the number donated, the report said.

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Yuan Jin, a professor at the university’s ophthalmic centre, was quoted as saying that the method of transplant means about one-third to half of the five million patients suffering from corneal blindness in China could be helped.

The cornea is the transparent layer at the front of the eye that protects it and also acts as a lens.