World-Leading Corneal Expert Prof. Donald Tan Offers Corneal Transplantation Treatment With an Imported Corneal Source at FV Hospital

From November 15 to November 18, 2023, Prof. Donald Tan, former President of the World Corneal Society, will perform corneal transplants for patients with corneal ulcers, corneal dystrophy and corneal scarring at FV’s Ophthalmology and Refractive Surgery Department.

Prof. Donald Tan

Corneal transplant surgery is the optimal treatment to help reduce the rate of blindness caused by corneal diseases. However, in most corneal transplant cases in Vietnam for the time being, patients have to wait for donor cornea tissue to become available, or spend money seeking treatment overseas.

Since May 2016, FV Hospital has launched its corneal transplant surgery service, performed by the world’s leading expert, Prof. Donald Tan, in cooperation with a team of specialists in FV’s Ophthalmology and Refractive Surgery Department, headed by Dr Nguyen Thi Mai.

Through this programme, FV is the first private hospital to perform corneal transplantation in Vietnam for patients with long-term vision impairment due to corneal diseases, such as corneal ulcers, corneal dystrophy and corneal scarring. All donor corneal tissue at FV is imported from reputable eye banks in the US, thereby shortening the waiting time for surgery for patients.

Prof. Donald Tan (right) performs surgery at FV Hospital

FV has applied many worldwide advanced corneal transplanting methods to help increase its transplant success rate as well as ensure less complications after surgery. These include:

  • Penetrating keratoplasty – removal of the whole cornea
  • Anterior lamellar keratoplasty – removal of the damaged part of the cornea, retaining the heathy part
  • “Tooth in eye” surgery – for those with severe corneal damage
  • Corneal surface reconstruction
  • Artificial corneal transplants
  • Endothelial keratoplasty

After nearly 7 years of implementation, the corneal transplant surgery service at FV has helped many people restore their eyesight, including cases of long-term vision loss.

For many years, Mr Vu Anh Minh (66 years old, living and working in Quang Ninh) has suffered from eye pain, itchy eyes, red eyes, watery eyes, and light sensitivity.

He visited a doctor who concluded that Mr Anh Minh had cataracts. Mr Minh under cataract surgery, but continued to feel eye discomfort and pain, and felt constantly as though something was stuck in his eyes.

Mr Minh returned for another check-up, and the doctor concluded that he had a corneal abrasion in his right eye and needed a corneal transplant to restore his vision. Mr Minh registered at many hospitals but did not find a suitable cornea. The corneal abrasion gradually formed a scar which grew over time. Over time, everything looked more and more cloudy.

Over the course of 14 years, Mr Minh visited many places to try to restore his eyesight, but without success. It was not until March 23, 2023, that Mr. Minh’s prayers were answered and he received a successful corneal transplant performed by Prof. Donald Tan at FV Hospital using imported corneas from a US-based cornea bank.

Another patient, Mr Dinh Viet Dung, suffered from vision loss due to cataracts. He was born in 1966 and worked as a doctor at a hospital in Can Tho. Mr Dung received treatment through the placement of multifocal lenses in his eyes, but after a month, his right eye was unable to focus and objects became blurry. The doctor diagnosed him with a deviation of the glass axis which had caused corneal abrasions in his right eye and recommended a corneal transplant to restore his vision.

Mr Dung struggled to find opportunities for corneal transplantation until he was introduced to FV Hospital’s corneal transplant service by some colleagues in Ho Chi Minh City. Fortunately, Prof. Donald Tan was able to restore his vision.

Prof. Donald Tan is delighted with Mr. Dung’s spectacular recovery (left) after his corneal transplant

Mr Dung shared that without this service, he would have had to wait a long time or travel to Singapore for treatment at a high cost. “I am a lucky person,” he said. “From the time I developed corneal abrasions to the time I had a suitable cornea for a transplant, it only took 10 months.”

Prof. Donald Tan is the world’s leading expert in the treatment of eye diseases, especially those related to the cornea. He is considered a master at applying complex and advanced corneal transplant techniques to help patients restore their vision, including lamellar corneal transplant, partial corneal transplant, and intraocular tooth implantation.

Prof. Tan is recognised as one of the top 20 eye surgeons in the world and ranks third on the list of the top 100 most influential people in modern ophthalmology by The Ophthalmologist Power List (UK). He has led the Singapore Eye Bank as Chief Medical Officer since 1993 and has directly performed over 4,000 corneal transplants in Singapore.

To book an appointment for an examination and corneal transplant at FV, please contact the Department of Ophthalmology and Refractive Surgery, FV Hospital: (028) 5411 3333, extension 2000.

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