Ian Tibbett has sight restored through tooth in eye, finally sees sons (PHOTO)
[caption id="attachment_71436" align="aligncenter" width="634"] Ian Tibbett has sight restored through tooth in eye[/caption]A Seeing Eye Tooth?
Science can truly be amazing sometimes. Get this: a blind man is now able to see thanks to a surgical procedure that placed teeth into his eye.
The man in question is Ian Tibbetts, a 43 mechanic from the U.K. who originally damaged his eye when a metal sliced his cornea. Amazingly, the surgery has restored his vision for the first time in four years.
"Before, the kids were just shapes. I couldn’t make them out,” Tibbetts, who lives in Shropshire, England, told the Daily Mail. “I had to actually learn to tell them apart by their voices. I could tell whichever one it was by the way they spoke and sometimes by how quickly they moved.”
'I had a picture in my head of what they looked like but they were better. I’m a bit biased there.
"The image in my mind was totally different to how they were. I gave them a big hug and a kiss.
"The sight doesn’t last forever so at the moment I am just taking each day as it comes and appreciating it.
Tibbetts chose to under go the surgery when all previous attempts to restore his site did not work. The chances were slim, and the surgery was nothing short of a miracle. In short, the tooth was removed from the patient's mouth and implanted into eye socket. However, a lens is placed on top of the tooth before implantation.
News.Com.Au explains the complex procedure:
The complex surgery is a two-part procedure. First, the tooth and part of the jaw are removed, and a lens is inserted into the tooth using a drill. The tooth and lens are then implanted under the eye socket. After a few months, once the tooth has grown tissues and developed a blood supply, comes the second step: part of the cornea is sliced open and removed and the tooth is stitched into the eye socket. Since the tooth is the patient’s own tissue, the body does not reject it.
Sight was not restored instantly because the patient's mind and body needed to recognize the new "eye." Yet, the patient was able to see the faces of his twin boys for the first time in his life once the process was complete.
"I just cried, gave them a big hug and a kiss. They were totally different than what I’d pictured in my mind," he said.
"They were just shapes. I couldn’t make them out. I had to actually learn to tell them apart by their voices,” he told the Independent.
“I could tell whichever one it was by the way they spoke and sometimes by how quickly they moved. I had a picture in my head of what they looked like but they were better. I’m a bit biased there."
While the patient's eyesight is not fully restored, it is much better than it was before. He previously only saw dark shadows move across his vision. Now it has been restored back to forty percent.
Tibbetts story first appeared in the BBC documentary The Day I Got My Sight Back.
On The Web:
Radical OOKP surgery implants tooth with lens into blind man Ian Tibbetts eye and restores sight: he sees twin sons' faces for first time
Blind father sees his twin sons' faces for first time after surgeon restores his sight using one of his TEETH