US soldier regains sight after world’s first eye transplant in New York

Aaron James (left) with doctor Eduardo de Rodriguez

In a major medical breakthrough, doctors at New York University Langone Health performed a total eye and partial face transplant on a 46-year-old Army veteran from Arkansas. Aaron James, who survived a high-voltage electrical accident, underwent a 21-hour operation that replaced fifty percent of his facial structure.

A step liberation According to the hospital, the surgery involved transplanting the entire left eye and part of the face from a single donor, making it the first human total eye transplant in medical history and the only successful combined transplant case of its kind.

The outcome of restoring vision in his newly transplanted left eye is still uncertain.

The NYU Langone Health medical team also dedicated their efforts to improving the appearance of her new face by providing structural support to the altered eye socket and eyelids.

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On May 27, the operation was conducted by a team of more than 140 surgeons, nurses and other health professionals, Eduardo D. Rodriguez, MD, DTS, Director of the Facial Transplantation Program, Helen L. Kimmel Professor of Restorative Plastics. Surgery, and Chair of the Hansjorg Wyss Department of Plastic Surgery at NYU Langone.

“Aaron is very motivated to regain the function and independence he lost after his injury. We could not have asked for a more perfect patient,” said Dr. Rodriguez. “We owe our success in this monumental endeavor to the exceptional institutional support we receive at NYU Langone and to the unwavering commitment of our world-class team to providing the highest level of care to our patients. Taking on the most difficult challenges and driving continued advances in the field of transplantation and beyond.”

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This exciting milestone paves the way for new opportunities in the development of future advances in vision therapies and other related medical fields.

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