The artificial cornea program at the Illinois Eye and Ear Infirmary at UIC was established in 2007 and focuses on an interdisciplinary approach to optimizing success in the treatment of corneal blindness. The work of our team has led to the development of novel surgical techniques as well as a better understanding of the interactions between the Boston Keratoprosthesis (KPro) – the most widely used artificial cornea – and its environment.
With over 200 patients treated to date, the members of the KPro team at the IEEI continue to work tirelessly to restore vision in patients affected by corneal disease. This summer, Felix Chau, MD, M. Soledad Cortina, MD, Pete Setabutr, MD, and Thasarat Vajaranant, MD completed a novel surgical technique to combat glaucoma in KPro recipients.
Glaucoma is a major visual limiting factor in eyes with otherwise successful Boston KPro implantation. Surgical management of glaucoma in KPro, especially in Boston KPro Type 2, is extremely challenging due to associated ocular pathologies and extensive conjunctival scarring. Working diligently to optimize their technique, the KPro team at the IEEI performed a modified Schocket procedure, a technique first described by Sidoti and colleagues, on a KPro recipient with glaucoma complications. The modified Schocket procedure was used to divert aqueous humor from the anterior chamber to an excising capsule around a scleral buckle, or encircling band. Instead of the normal silicone tube, an Ahmed glaucoma valve was used to prevent hypotony, or low intraocular pressure. In 2017, Fleischman and colleagues also described this novel technique for treating KPro patients with glaucoma. At the IEEI, this modified technique has helped maintain functioning sight in the only-seeing eye of our patient. The IEEI KPro team is proud to continue to restore and maintain vision in the most challenging cases.