He was sensitive only to light; His eyesight improved with the surgery he was 94 years old

Pakize Aybaba, mother of coach Samet Aybaba, was diagnosed with ocular cicatricial pemphigoid disease, caused by her age and immune system. Aybaba, who could not see at all with his left eye and could only perceive light with his right eye, had previously had cataract and retinal surgery and had artificial corneal surgery on his right eye. Aybaba, whose eyes were closed again after only opening for a month with the surgeries he underwent, has been unable to see for 4 years. In the statement that he wanted to see his relatives in the last years of his life, Pakize Aybaba said, as a last resort, ophthalmologist Prof. Dr. Anıl Kubaloğlu reached. prof. Dr. Kubaloğlu, with the keratoprosthesis surgery he performed with special permission, enabled Aybaba to have sufficient vision to distinguish the objects around him. Aybaba, who had surgery about a month ago, achieved 5 percent vision due to age-related macular degeneration.


prof. Dr. Anıl Kubaloğlu said: “This patient has no chance of success in a corneal transplant and has previously undergone a similar prosthetic application. Because tissue is not accepted in such diseases, the patient does not benefit at all from a corneal transplant. Keratoprosthesis is the last option for us when the patient cannot see at all and especially in cases where there is a chance to see with one eye.


prof. Dr. Kubaloğlu said: “In our patient, there is a condition where the eyelids at the front of the eye, which we call ocular cicatricial pemphigoid, adhere to the eye and the surface of the eye is covered with a white coating. So this is an immunological disease caused by the immune system. Transplant operations in these patients have no chance of success. Therefore, blindness inevitably becomes a consequence. This patient had previous cataract and retinal surgeries. An artificial cornea is created. When we don’t get successful results after this artificial cornea, we use the latest form of the keratoprosthesis, the Type 2 model, which we call the Boston Keratoprosthesis, as a last resort. Here, unlike the other type 1 model, the type 2 model is placed in the corneal tissue and performed as a corneal transplant for the patient. After the corneal transplant, we fix this prosthesis on the eyelid fissure and close the eyelid fissure. Thus, the side of the eye becomes the palpebral fissure. As far as I know, this prosthesis is being made for the first time in Turkey, we have received special permission for this from the Ministry of Health and the Scientific Committee. The Department of Health gave permission after the study, and we ordered the prosthetic eye prosthesis from Harvard University. Because permission to use this prosthesis has not yet been obtained in Europe. There are also countries like America and India. In Turkey, this consent was taken on a patient-specific basis,” he said.


prof. Dr. Kubaloğlu explained the process as follows:

“During surgery, we placed this prosthesis after reconstructing the patient’s eye space and releasing the eyelids. When we placed it, the patient was seen to have silicone in his eye and intraocular bleeding from previous surgeries. When it was seen that there was bleeding, retina doctors intervened and cleaned the patient with an operation called a vitrectomy. Since we were not going to touch the eye at the end of the surgery and because there was a history of glaucoma (blood pressure), we put in an artificial device to control blood pressure and ended our surgery this way. What he especially wanted was to see relatives, children and grandchildren in the last days of his life. I hope he stays that way for the rest of his life.”


Stating that before surgery the patient only noticed light, Prof. Kubalog said: “So in this case, if there is a patient who can see 100 percent, he is in a situation where he can see 100 percent of his potential to use. However, our patient has about 10-20% vision, as far as his disease allows, due to his age. Our patient can see her house now and while she was eating she stated that in the past she couldn’t see anything and she could barely eat her food. Now he said he could see his plate, his grandchildren, the curtain of the house and the details of the house. Sometimes he looks at his hand and talks about the nature of his nails. It means a lot to him,” he said.


Pakize Aybaba, 94, said: “For the first time in my previous operations, there was an opening, but it was closed after 1 month. I haven’t seen it for 3-4 years. I see very well now. The mornings in particular are sparkling and beautiful. There are dogs, I even see them walking. Many thanks to my doctor. At least I see it now, thank God. In the future it will be even better. Now I can read books, do anything. My life will be smoother,” he said.

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