Surgeons in New York, US, smashed the frontiers of medical possibility by executing the world’s first whole-eye transplant. Though the patient, Aaron James, has yet to regain sight, the surgical achievement is being lauded for ushering in a new era in ocular research. The unusual surgery took place at NYU Langone Health during a partial face transplant that lasted an astounding 21 hours. Dr. Eduardo Rodriguez, head of the surgical team, mused on the momentous event, saying “The mere fact that we transplanted an eye is a huge step forward, something that for centuries has been thought about, but it’s never been performed.” Six months post-surgery, the grafted eye shows encouraging signs of health, with functioning blood vessels and a healthy-looking retina. The operation was performed with two purposes in mind: aesthetics for the patient and scientific advancement. It is unknown whether James will regain eyesight as a result of this operation.

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