A 60-year-old woman from Kolkata got her eyesight back after a fist-of-its-kind surgery that used nerves from her foot. Mira Dhar was partially blind from her right eye after a viral infection affected her vision. The Kolkata resident earlier tried a corneal transplant, but it failed to bring back her eyesight. She then turned to the first-of-its-kind treatment in India that used her nerves from the foot and connected it to the cornea. The surgery was conducted by Plastic, and cosmetic surgeon, Dr Vinod Vij and the 60-year-old is recovering and got back her eyesight.

The surgery uses sensory nerves from other easily accessible parts of the body and reconstructs the connection between the cornea and the forehead. Dhar was suffering from Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV) keratitis, a virus which leads to the loss of sensation in the cornea. While the nerves from hands can also be used for the surgery, the foot nerves called sural nerve were much more easily accessible and helped Shar to regain normal sight as the eye has finally healed completely.

The first of its kind surgery was conducted three months back, but the complete effects of the surgery were revealed recently as the eye took some time to heal and adjust. The corneal transplant surgery involved connecting the cornea to the forehead with a sensory nerve that was removed from the sixty-year-old’s foot and has given hope to several partially blind patients who suffer from similar illness.

Dr Harshavardhan Ghorpade, Cornea, Cataract and Refractive Surgeon at Hiranandani Hospital, Vashi, spoke to DNA and said, “While we could use nerves from the hand, the ones from the foot is superficial and easy to access.” Mira Dhar has returned to good health and is now completely healed thanks to this unique surgery that restored her eyesight.