Cornea Transplants at JHAH

Sight is something many take for granted. What if in your early 20s, you begin to lose it? That recently happened to two young Saudis. “They had keratoconus, which is a corneal disease that is common in young Saudis,” says Dr. Ashbala Khattak, JHAH consulting ophthalmologist.

“They had keratoconus, which is a corneal disease that is common in young Saudis,”
Dr. Ashbala Khattak

Dr. Khattak, who recently joined JHAH, used the Big Bubble technique to perform the delicate surgery it takes to correct this disease. Known as Deep Anterior Lamellar Keratoplasty, the technique allowed her to remove the damaged layers of the cornea and leave the inner most endothelial layer.

Prior to Dr. Khattak’s arrival, JHAH referred about one patient with keratoconus per month to either the King Khalid Eye Specialist Hospital or to an eye hospital in Dubai. For patients who meet the criteria, this delicate procedure, which only recently replaced full thickness corneal transplant, is an outpatient procedure that allows for patients to recover more quickly, have minimal risk of graft rejection and ultimately have better restored vision.

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