The Filatov Institute of Eye Diseases and Tissue Therapy of the National Academy of Medical Sciences of Ukraine (Odesa) for the first time in the world conducted a unique operation to remove a large intraocular hemangioma of the choroid.
According to a press release of the institute, the operation was performed at the end of 2020 on a 21-year-old patient due to the impossibility of using non-surgical methods of treatment because of the large tumor size (12.2 mm x 16.1 mm, bulging into the vitreous humor – 6 mm), which continued to grow.
“Understanding what the loss of an eye would mean for a young active girl, both from a cosmetic and psychological point of view, the doctors of the Filatov Institute offered the patient an operation,” the press release said.
To reduce the risk of bleeding, the specialists of the institute used their unique development – the method of high-frequency welding of biological tissues in ophthalmology, developed jointly with the Paton Institute of Electric Welding of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. They also developed the tools necessary for the interventions.
The operation was carried out by one of the authors of the method, Doctor of Medical Sciences Mykola Umanets. During the operation, which lasted several hours, each dissected vessel was “welded” to prevent bleeding.
“When the patient came for a check-up a month later, the doctors were not only convinced that they had managed to save the eye, but also revealed the appearance of her “silhouette vision,” which was not there before the operation,” the press release said.
At present, the institute’s specialists are preparing publications for world-famous ophthalmological editions. The video filming made during the operation will allow presenting a unique achievement at the world conferences and congresses.
Hemangioma is benign neoplasms that affect the blood vessels of a person in various parts of the body. In the case of formation in the choroid of the eye, they do not threaten the patient’s life, however, they are accompanied by a significant decrease in vision and can cause the development of serious complications, such as retinal detachment, hemorrhage into the eye cavity, increased intraocular pressure (glaucoma).
Currently, there are a number of treatment methods for this pathology, aimed at stopping the growth and destruction of the tumor and are effective in the case of small formations. The only attempt to surgically remove an intraocular hemangioma recorded by the world ophthalmological community is an operation performed in 2019 by Italian ophthalmologist Barbara Parolini. In that case, the tumor was small. In the case of a large lesion and/or its unsuccessful location, surgical removal of intraocular hemangiomas is not performed due to a very high risk of bleeding and a lack of effective methods to stop it. Most often, the only way to solve the problem is to remove the eye.