In July 2021, the prestigious British Journal of Ophthalmology published the results of the autokeratoplasty surgeries performed in our centre since 1957. This historic cohort study not only helped us to obtain scientific results but also to acknowledge the loyalty of the Barraquer Ophthalmology Centre patients, loyalty that we'd like to thank from the bottom of our hearts. Here are a few words to explain how we got here.
A keratoplasty is a cornea autotransplantation that can only be performed if the patient has an eye with zero visual potential (vision acuity), due to irreversible alterations, yet they still have a transparent and functional cornea, while the other eye has visual potential, but complicated vision due to a pathological cornea, which has permanently lost its transparency. Candidates for this surgery are, therefore, blind patients who can have part of their vision restored in one eye by replacing the corneas; preventing, in addition, the rejection problems, typical of an allotransplantation (a transplant from another person).
We then decided to perform a complete analysis of this surgery when we realized that we had a sufficient number of cases to obtain reliable results on long-term prognosis. What was surprising was that the average monitoring of patients included was 11 years and, in some cases, reached almost 50 years. This exceptional follow-up made us proud, as it shows we're deserving of our patients trust. Every day we combine the efforts of ophthalmologists, technical and logistical teams to improve the care we provide to our patients and continue to enjoy their trust for many years to come.
Gemma Julio, researcher at the Barraquer Ophthalmology Centre