Artificial Corneal Implant at NYEE is First Biocompatible Operation of its Kind in Tri-state Area

New York, NY (February 2004) -- On February 6 at The New York Eye and Ear Infirmary, attending ophthalmologist Ilan Cohen, MD, performed the region's first artificial cornea implant to restore vision in a man who had been legally blind for decades as the result of a chemical burn. 

Recently approved by the FDA, the new implant (called AlphaCor) is designed to replace a diseased or damaged cornea or failed human grafts. It is made of a biocompatible polymer and eliminates the need for immunosupressant therapies usually required with human donor tissue. 

The device looks like a clear, donor-corneal graft with a visible spongy rim. A patient's own cells grow into this outer rim and hold it in place, allowing the eye to function normally. Only 45 other patients across the US have received the new corneal implant.

Media Information

If you are a reporter seeking to interview this or any other doctor at The New York Eye and Ear Infirmary, please contact Jean Thomas, at (212) 979-4274, or Axel F. Bang, at (914) 234-5433.

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