According to a statement on the website of New York University, more than 140 healthcare professionals participated in the 21-hour operation at Langone Health Center, which was performed on May 27 but announced to the press yesterday.
In the surgical procedure performed on 46-year-old Aaron James, who was electrocuted by 7,200 volts of electric current as a result of an accident at work, adult stem cells from a donor's marrow were injected for the first time to strengthen the eye's nerve regeneration as well as eye transplantation.
After a whole eye and left face transplant, James made history as the first patient to receive a whole eye transplant.
Although it is currently unclear whether the transplanted eye will regain vision, it has been determined that there is blood flow to the retina.
Eduardo D. Rodriguez, Director of Face Transplant Programs, one of the operators of the operation, stated that although it is unlikely that James will regain his vision, the transplant is a significant success even from an aesthetic point of view.
Samer Al-Homsi, one of the professors who conducted the study, explained that "CD34 positive" stem cells were preferred for this procedure to replace the damaged cells.