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Dr Charl Roux: +27 (0)44 874 1258
Dr Richard Faul: +27 (0)44 873 0126
Dr Johannes Meyer: +27 (0)44 874 0178
Dr Beyers Botha: +27 (0)44 873 4174
   
E-Mail Address: george@ilaser.co.za
Fax Number: +27 (0)44 873 2469
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44 CJ Langenhoven Road, George
Postal Address: PO Box 10383
George, 6530
   
  
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E-Mail Address: knysna@ilaser.co.za
Fax Number: +27 (0)44 382 2730
   
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TH41 Thesen
Harbour Town
Knysna
   
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PO Box 10383
Knysna, 6570
   
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Practice News

Free Corneal transplant gives new hope

Free Corneal Transplant - Dr Beyers Botha with patient

A Knysna resident who lost his job after going blind six years ago has new hope after a corneal transplant, an ultra delicate operation performed on him at the George Surgical Centre in George last week.
 
William Lotter (42) says he has received a second chance in life thanks to cooperation between the Knysna Lions Club and Garden Route Eye Clinic. "For years I could not work and the first thing I want to do when my eye has completely healed, is get to work," Lotter told the George Herald.
 
Because it is an expensive operation and Lotter was without an income, it seemed an impossible dream, but he approached the Lions Club of Knysna in July this year. Thanks to their involvement, he received the operation free of charge. Dr Beyers Botha, the ophthalmologist from the Garden Route Eye Clinic who performed the corneal transplant (keratoplasty), says all the specialists involved provided their services without charge and the George Surgical Centre provided its facilities at cost price, which was paid by the Lions Club. Dr Hans Graser was the anaesthetist.
 
 
He was in the insurance industry for 20 years, but as a result of ulcers developing on both his corneas, his eyesight deteriorated to such an extent that he was unable to work and became dependent on others. "I worked with figures, but I could not see them anymore. I used to read book upon book, and that became impossible. Fortunately, I could still listen to music, which I love."
 
Transplanting a donor cornea is performed by using the latest micro surgical techniques.
"There is unfortunately a significant shortage of corneal donors in South Africa, and often out of desperation one has to search abroad for available corneas. It has been estimated that there are more than 20 000 blind South Africans whose sight could be restored with a corneal graft," says Botha, who lived in Canada for 10 years where he gained invaluable experience in advanced surgical techniques.

 Donor corneas are scarce and Lotter had to wait months before the donor bank in Cape Town had one available. "William's vision will be very dim initially because of the many stitches that hold the cornea in place," says Dr Botha. "It will be three to four months before we can safely say what the outcome of the operation is, but the success rate of corneal transplants is higher than 90%. So far everything looks good and we are not expecting any complications."

 
He says Lotter will be able to drive and engage in his normal activities again, although he might need to wear spectacles. Lotter is looking forward to have a more meaningful role in life again through his work. "I have no idea what I am going to do, but anything will be great," he says.
 
Botha says the cornea is the transparent front layer of the eye just in front of the iris. "Should the cornea become cloudy for any reason, vision will be permanently impaired. Some corneal abnormalities are present from birth such as keratoconus where the cornea develops an abnormal curvature that makes normal vision impossible. Other reasons may only occur later in life, such as infections or trauma to the eye."
 
Transplanting a donor cornea is performed by using the latest micro surgical techniques.
 
"There is unfortunately a significant shortage of corneal donors in South Africa, and often out of desperation one has to search abroad for available corneas. It has been estimated that there are more than 20 000 blind South Africans whose sight could be restored with a corneal graft," says Botha, who lived in Canada for 10 years where he gained invaluable experience in advanced surgical techniques.
 
ARTICLE : ALIDA DE BEER, GEORGE HERALD - JOURNALIST
Free Corneal Transplant - Dr Beyers Botha

 

 

 

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Garden Route Eye Clinic has consulting rooms in Knysna and George, as well as in Oudtshoorn bringing eye care closer to home in the Southern Cape. Specialist eye surgery is performed at George Surgical Centre. We also perform surgery in Knysna.

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More than half a century's worth of combined practice, professionalism, and utmost dedication to their fields of expertise assure patients that they're in the hands of experienced ophthalmologists.

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The George Surgical Centre, established in 2012, is a world-class day hospital dedicated to modern Eye Surgery. Other procedures such as Cosmetic Surgery, is also performed here. Easy access via George Airport enables service delivery to patients from other areas outside the Southern Cape.

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