Beebe Ophthalmologist Performs Corneal Transplants
Dr. Edward S. A. Jaoude, ophthalmologist, recently joined the Beebe Medical Center medical staff and is performing eye surgery at Beebe’s Millsboro Surgery Center, including “No-Stitch, No-Needle” cataract surgery, corneal transplantation, as well as LASIK, PRK, and LASEK, the laser procedures for correcting near sightedness (myopia), far sightedness (hyperopia), and astigmatism.
Dr. Jaoude is a fellowship-trained specialist in cataract surgery, corneal transplant, and refractive surgery and is equipped to perform corneal transplants at the Millsboro Surgery Center. Corneal transplantation is a rare procedure in our local area as patients have historically been referred to Wilmington and other areas. Corneas are the most transplanted organs throughout the world, and more readily available since each organ donor usually provides two corneas. The rate of rejection of transplanted corneas is much lower than other organs and usually well controlled with eye drops only.
When a candidate is identified for corneal transplantation, Dr. Jaoude contacts the Lions Eye Bank in Philadelphia and schedules surgery. Usually there is no waiting list for corneal tissue, as it can be provided by the Eye Bank within a few days.
Suitable candidates for corneal transplantation include patients with the following diagnoses:
1) Keratoconus - a condition that often develops in the teenage years, affecting males and females equally, in which the normally dome-shaped cornea progressively thins and causes a cone-like bulge and significant visual impairment. First signs of keratoconus include progressive increase in near sightedness (myopia) and astigmatism that requires continuous increase in the prescription of the patient’s glasses. It usually affects one eye first and may develop in the other eye after a number of years.
2) Fuchs’ Dystrophy - a slowly progressing disease, slightly more common in women than men, and usually affecting both eyes. Cells of the inner layer of the cornea gradually deteriorate and ultimately cause corneal swelling that results in hazy vision (as if the patient is looking through fog). Early signs may be apparent in 30-40 year olds, however, the disease rarely affects vision until people reach their 50s and 60s.
3) Corneal edema - swelling caused by other eye surgeries
4) Corneal scarring - as a result of injury, or ulceration.
“It helps for patients to know that corneal transplantation is a relatively safe procedure and the success rate of the surgery is usually high,” explains Dr. Jaoude. “Patients with Keratoconus, for example, have a 90-95 percent chance of achieving 20/40 eyesight or better. The one-hour surgery is performed with local anesthesia on an outpatient basis. Patients can resume regular, non-strenuous activity the next day and realize full visual recovery in three to six months.”
In addition to corneal transplants, Dr. Jaoude and the Millsboro Surgery Center are fully equipped to perform a full range of vision correction options. Among the most often performed procedures is “No-Stitch, No-Needle” cataract surgery, in which patients receive eye drops only for anesthesia. Additionally, Dr. Jaoude is a fellowship-trained specialist in LASIK, PRK, and LASEK.
“We are equipped with ‘Wavefront Technology’,” explains Dr. Jaoude, “which is the state-of-the-art technology in detecting the best candidates for LASIK. We can identify who is at higher risk of developing glare and halos following surgery, and can customize the treatment to each patient’s individual needs to maximize the safety of the procedure.”
Dr. Jaoude recently relocated to Delaware from Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, after fellowship training in corneal transplantation, cataract surgery and refractive surgery.