Surgery of December 1th 2015 succeeded. Big portions of membrane of the mouth were successfully transplanted into the above conjunctiva of Max’s right eye.
Although surgery was successful, it had much more impact than Max had expected. It lasted 3 instead of 1 hours. The tissue was implemented using stitches through the eyelids and knots and tube to hold everything in place. This disabled Max from closing his eye fully, whilst he could not open it either. This caused much pain. Also, instructions of Dr. Zaal after surgery were misunderstood by the nurses. Instead of keeping it moist using artificial drops and applying the regular antibiotics, the nurses told Max to not do anything to his eye. The pain and the dryness resulting from this finally lead to rapid vascularisation in the cornea. Max’s vision decreased from 10-15% to a mere 0,5%.
All this was a shock to Max. He had to take a short break from his side jobs and his studies. Within one week he was studying again, although missed the things he could once again see the past months.
One month later, vascularisation has retreated from the epithelium. Fortunately, the inner corneal layers have remained safe. Max’s vision fluctuates extremely. This is caused by swellings in the new membrane of the mouth and by bubbles underneath the bandage contact lens he wears. One minute he can see 15%, whereas the other he can only see 3%. This requires much flexibility and is fatiguing to Max.
Dr. Zaal stuck to the plan all these months, which made it possible for Max to maintain peace and to keep using his medicines and be careful. Thanks to Dr. Zaal, vision is slowly returning. The coming weeks are tense and important once again. Dr. Zaal even stated that some transformation seems to take place from hydrophobic, bad corneal cells to good, transparent cells. By sticking to the plan and keeping the eyes moist, this transformation will hopefully continue. Max needs to stick to the plan while doing the things he likes and breaking through the fears of losing his sight.