Two Pak children undergo complex eye surgery at AIIMS

Updated: Jul 11, 2012, 20:42 PM IST

New Delhi: For two Pakistani kids, who were born blind, there is finally a ray of light after doctors at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) performed a complex surgery on them.

Four-year-old Mohammed Hassan Faisal and Syed Mubashir Mehmood (3) from Pakistan`s Sindh province were operated upon here yesterday, with doctors "hopeful" that they will soon have vision.

Faisal and Mehmood were born premature at 30 weeks and 28 weeks respectively and suffered from an acute eye disorder-- Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP).

ROP is an eye disease that affects prematurely-born babies. It is caused by disorganised growth of retinal blood vessels that result in scarring and retinal detachment. It can be mild and may resolve spontaneously but it may lead to blindness in serious cases.

The duo were admitted to the hospital late last week.

Describing ROP surgery as one of the most difficult in eye care, Dr Rajvardhan Azad, Professor and Head Vitreo-Retinal Diseases, said the surgery "went as per the plan".

"It is one of the most difficult surgeries in eyecare both because of the difficulties involved in general management of neonates and the inherent difficulty of managing the immature, fragile and elastic neonate retina," Azad, who is also the Chief of Rajendra Prasad Centre for Opthalmic Sciences at AIIMS, said.

The surgery, which is conducted only in India among all the South Asian nations apparently due to lack of medical facilities there, took around an hour to complete.

Satisfied with the surgery, parents of both the children thanked the doctors and the medical staff at the hospital for the support and care provided to them.

"We came to India for better treatment and we are happy with the way we were treated here and thank the doctors and other staff. There is a lack of such facilities in Pakistan and India is far better in terms of healthcare," said Faisal`s father.

"We heard about Dr Azad and were referred to the AIIMS after going through tough time in various hospitals in Pakistan. Then we faced visa and transfer issues," he said adding that there should be an easy way to get visa in such cases.

Stressing the need for a liberal visa issuance policy in such cases, Azad said: "There are many visa issues that hamper the quick treatment of patients from our neighbouring country Pakistan. There should be a smooth, hassle free visa issuance programme."

Both the kids will be discharged from the hospital next week, doctors said.