The latest in treatments
Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD) is a common and underdiagnosed cause of the signs and symptoms of Dry Eye Syndrome. It has been estimated that MGD accounts for three out of every five cases of dry eye.
Bascom Palmer offers “physical therapy” to the lid and meibomian glands at different levels, beginning with heat therapy and lid massage for mild cases.
For advanced disease, the Lipidview/Lipidflow system provides the ophthalmologist with a tool to improve the screening and diagnosis of evaporative dry eye in patients with MGD and treat it in an efficient manner.
Serum tears treatments use serum from the patient’s own blood to prepare tears that are effective in the care of their dry eye symptoms and vision.
In some instances, ocular surface disorders result in scarring of the lacrimal gland, conjunctiva, and/or cornea, resulting in poor vision. The Ocular Surface Center team makes expert use of surgical therapies to successfully treat these conditions. Procedures include limbal stem cells and cornea transplants to rehabilitate the surface of damaged scarred tissue.
In severe, end-stage cases of blindness-causing scarring, Bascom Palmer surgeons also use artificial corneas (Boston keratoprosthesis type I). . And, Bascom Palmer is the only center in the United States that performs the complex “eye-tooth” surgery known as MOOKP (Modified osteo odonto keratoprosthesis) for patients with ocular surface disorders. This fascinating surgery actually implants an eye-tooth into the patient’s eye, to restore sight.
To complement its state-of-the-art medical and surgical treatments, Bascom Palmer’s Ocular Surface Center team is currently working with the Boston Foundation for Sight’s Prosthetic Replacement of the Ocular Surface Ecosystem (PROSE). This treatment involves the custom-designing of a prosthetic device made for patients with ocular surface diseases, to help protect and heal the ocular surface. The device can also correct for refractive errors.
Stem cell-based therapy
The use of patients’ own cells for the treatment of ocular surface diseases has been a successful modality of treatment. In fact, Bascom Palmer performed the first autologous transplant of limbal stem cells from the fellow eye of a patient with stem cell deficiency. New technology in stem cell research has opened broader doors for the use of cell-based therapy for eyes. In collaboration with the University of Miami Interdisciplinary Stem Cell Program, we are developing an ex-vivo expansion progenitor stem cell program. This groundbreaking program will expand the use of this innovative eye therapy to regenerate damaged tissue and establish lost function and vision health.
With its “real time” comprehensive data-base of ocular surface patients around the world, Bascom Palmer is a major center for ocular clinical research, including the testing of novel compounds and therapeutic strategies.
Other promising new surgical treatments being studied at Bascom Palmer include transplantation of salivary glands, and methods that hold the potential to improve the longevity and success of artificial corneas.