FV hospital launches high quality cornea transplant service

FV Hospital has become the first private hospital in Vietnam to collaborate with world leading corneal surgeon Professor Donald Tan from Singapore to provide cornea transplant service.

FV on May 21, 2016 launched the service at the hospital to bring more benefits to its patients. Professor Donald Tan uses the world’s latest forms of transplant – the forms of partial corneal transplantation which involves just replacing the diseased layers of the cornea, and keeping the healthy layers. Thanks to them, success rates can be as high as 98%, as these procedures now lead to far less complications and better vision than conventional older forms of transplant, where doctors had to change the entire cornea. For instance, corneal transplant rejection is a cause of transplant failure in 15% of the older conventional full corneal transplant.

In addition to Professor Donald Tan’s consultation and operations, the corneas used for transplantation are imported from major eye banks in the US and other countries, where donated corneas are restored and preserved in the best conditions. After the operations, the patients will be cared for by ophthalmologists at FV Hospital, which has been accredited by Joint Commission International the world’s leading healthcare accrediting body with the most rigorous international standards in quality and patient safety. The patients will be able to save lots of time and costs as they no longer have to fly to Singapore for consultation and treatments. Also thanks to imported high quality corneas and the reduced costs, there will be a much better opportunity for the patients to see light again that it was previously.

The Ministry of Health in Vietnam has allowed FV Hospital to import corneas, and granted the practice license to Professor Donald Tan’s corneal transplantation at FV Hospital. Currently in Vietnam, corneal transplantation is conducted at the Vietnam National Institute of Ophthalmology in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City Eye Hospital, Cho Ray Hospital and Saigon Eye Hospital, but there are not many transplants. A reason is the limited supply source of corneas because of popular perception that a dead body must be intact, people do not want to donate their corneas. FV Hospital’s cornea transplant service launched today is expected to help reduce corneal blindness in the country.

Dr John Lucas, Medical Director at FV Hospital, said: “FV Hospital has established links with major eye banks in the US and other countries in order to secure excellent quality donated corneas for our operations. We have tried our best to bring world leading specialist Professor Donald Tan to FV to serve our patients with the best quality as our commitments for having being accredited by JCI.”

Professor Donald Tan said: “As a visiting consultant to FV Hospital, I’ve performed many cornea transplants on the patients sent to Singapore by FV. However not all patients identified as the needy for corneal transplantation are affordable for treatments in Singapore. Therefore I am most pleased that FV Hospital has invited me to perform these new transplants on a regular basis, so that people in Vietnam can benefit from these procedures. While the more severe cases may still require patients to come to Singapore for surgery, as has been happening for several years, I am now hoping that many patients can now just come to FV Hospital for their surgery.”

Professor Donald Tan, who has helped many patients over the world to see light again, today performs two transplants on two patients at FV Hospital. They will get post-operational care from FV ophthalmologists. The professor will continue to come to the hospital for more consultation and operations on many more patients.

Among the successful transplantation cases on FV patients, conducted by Professor Donald Tan in Singapore, a patient is 42-year-old Pham The Son from Dong Nai Province. His transplant was done in April, about three weeks ago. He says he is good health conditions now, pleased with the surgery result and his vision is becoming better and better as seen in the doctor’s protocol.

Professor Donald Tan is Senior Partner of Eye & Retina Surgeons, his private group practice in Singapore. He was Medical Director at Singapore National Eye Centre (SNEC). FV Hospital has since 2006 partnered with SNEC to better meet increasing demand for eye disease treatments in Vietnam, and improve capability to cure those with eye diseases not being treated successfully in the country. The partnership has served as a link to help Vietnamese patients get better access to new procedures in the world. After consultation and diagnosis at FV, doctors here and from Singapore made their group consultation to identify the seriousness and protocol. FV arranged the flight schedule, provided immigration support, followed the Singapore treatment process and provided post-operational care. The overall partnership helped the patients save costs for travel, accommodation, operations, among others, those they could not save if they have had travelled to Singapore right in the beginning.

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