Puneeth Rajkumar passed away on 29 October after a heart attack. Four people, three men and one woman, were recipients of transplants, performed on 30 October, courtesy Puneeth Rajkumar's eyes.
Dr Bhujang Shetty, chairman of Narayana Nehtralaya, told media on Monday, “We are very fortunate and grateful for ‘Power Star’ Puneeth Rajkumar’s eye donation. What was unique is that we used each eye to treat two patients by separating the superior and deeper layers of the cornea.”
Puneeth’s father Dr Rajkumar had pledged the entire family’s eyes to the eye bank when it opened in 1994. The doctors created four different transplants from two corneas. Two of the patients were suffering from superficial corneal disease and two others had endothelial or deep corneal layer disease, Dr Shetty told mediapersons.
Dr. Shetty added, “Usually, two corneas from a deceased individual are transplanted into two corneal blind patients. But, we went out of our way to use Puneeth's corneal tissues to the maximum to honour the contributions made by his family.”
The doctor also expanded upon the procedures used for the transplants. The first technique was Deep Anterior Lamellar Keratoplasty (DALK) wherein the outer superficial part of the cornea was transplanted.
“The second technique is – Descemet’s Stripping Endothelial Keratoplasty (DSEK) – wherein the inner or deeper layer of the cornea is transplanted in two patients with corneal endothelial decompensation affecting the innermost layer of the cornea,” Dr Shetty informed.
The limbal rim which wasn’t used in the transplants will be used to generate ‘Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells’ which will potentially be used for other patients.
(With inputs from Hindu)