Doctors restore eyesight of UP acid attack victim

New Delhi, April 12 (IANS) Doctors at a city hospital have been able to bring substantial improvement in the eyesight of a 26-year-old acid attack victim by performing a unique procedure, hospital authorities said Friday.

The woman, a school teacher from Uttar Pradesh's Shamli town, was attacked earlier this month while she was heading home.

She was brought to the Sir Ganga Ram Hospital in the capital the same day and doctors performed amniotic membrane transplantation on her.

"We performed a unique procedure called amniotic membrane transplantation which fortunately has helped to bring a substantial improvement in her eyesight," said A.K. Grover, chairman of the hospital's department of opthalmology.

"At the time of admission, she had severe acid burns on face, neck and chest. Besides, her left eye was also severely damaged by acid," Dr Grover said.

Describing the procedure, Grover said: "An amniotic membrane was obtained from one of the prospective donors undergoing Caesarean section who did not have any communicable diseases. After cleaning this membrane with balanced salt solution containing a mix of antibiotics, the membrane was implanted in the victim's eye."

Doctors said her eyesight will improve further in coming days. Had she not been treated in time, she would have lost her eyesight completely, they added.

The woman was happy after getting back her eyesight and said she was looking forward to resume work soon.

"The society should change its attitude towards women. I pray to god that what happened to me should not happen to anyone. When I came to this hospital, I was very scared and tense that I may not be able to see all my life. It was all so dark," said the victim, who did not wish to be named.

"I will resume my job as soon as I reach Shamli. My students have been praying for my fast recovery. I want to meet them," she said.

The woman was discharged from hospital Friday.

Her elder sister Jahan Aaraa said: "It will take my sister some time to gain confidence. But I am pleased to see her smile and talking."

"We don't know who the attackers were and have registered a police complaint against unknown people," she added.

Mahesh Mangal, chairman of the plastic surgery department at Si Ganga Ram Hospital, said the cost of treatment was borne by the hospital.