Cayman performs first corneal transplant surgery in over a decade

Cayman’s Health Service Authority (HSA) performed its second corneal transplant surgery last week, helping to save the eye of a 63-year-old woman.

Dr Ermanno Scerrati (center) with the patient, Grace Williams, and an attending physician.

Previously, surgery on the corneal tissue had to be done overseas. 

Dr Ermanno Scerrati, who works with the HSA, revealed that the team had to submit a request to the Lions Eye Bank in Florida, where they were able to procure the tissue necessary for the surgery.

“This is HSA’s first corneal transplant surgery and its success can be attributed to the collaborative effort of the eye clinic and operating room teams,” said Dr Scerrati. 

The patient, Grace Williams, attended at the clinic, for worsening pain and visual disturbance in the left eye. 

After evaluation and observation, Scerrati recommended corneal transplant surgery to prevent further deterioration of her vision and eventual loss of that eye.

Corneal transplant, otherwise known as keratoplasty, is a surgical procedure to replace part of a damaged cornea with healthy corneal tissue from a donor.

“There are a lot of nerve endings in the cornea. Without treatment Ms Williams faced the risk of losing her eye. There would come a point when it becomes very painful that the whole eye would have to be removed,” he explained. 

“This is an operation that requires an extremely skilled corneal trained ophthalmologist. There are not a lot of room for errors,” he added.

The last procedure of this kind was performed over a decade ago on island.