Tenotomy – A New Type of Surgery For Eyes
Tenometry – A New Type of Surgery For Eyes
Tenotomy is designed to correct nystagmus by removing selected eye muscles and re-attaching them to the eyeball at exactly the same spot.
A surgery typically used on ankle tendons
or bicep muscles is now being applied to eyes. The director of Clinical Neuro-Ophthalmology at University Hospitals of Cleveland
Dr. Robert Tomsak
recently performed an innovative surgical procedure to improve the vision of patients with nystagmus
an involuntary movement of the eyes that can impair vision and cause balance and equilibrium problems.
This very rare condition may be congenital or acquired
perhaps as the result of a neurological condition such as multiple sclerosis. Experts estimate that congenital nystagmus affects about one in 3000 people. Acquired nystagmus is an even rarer condition. Medications have been used to treat acquired nystagmus
but have not always worked effectively.
In order to transmit a clear signal to the brain
your eye has to stay on target and focus on a specific object. If your eye is constantly moving
the brain cannot ’take a picture’ quickly enough to make a sharp image. The surgery’s goal is to slow the involuntary eye movements
so your eye can take a better
more detailed picture.
is designed to correct nystagmus by removing selected eye muscles and re-attaching them to the eyeball at exactly the same spot. Tenotomy presumably interrupts electrical signals between the brain and the eye muscles – as a result
these involuntary and debilitating eye movements are dampened or lessened.
In October 2003
Dr. Tomsak became the first physician to perform tenotomy on a patient with acquired nystagmus (this patient has multiple scerlosis). The surgery was successful in reducing the nystagmus by 50 per cent
according to Dr. Tomsak. The patient’s vision has improved slightly since the operation and it is hoped that he will continue to improve as time goes on.
Both congenital and acquired nystagmus
are directly caused by instability of the motor system controlling the eyes. Dr. Tomsak
and collaborators Dr. Dell’Osso
R. John Leigh
and Janet Rucker
presented these results of their research at the North American Neuro-Ophthalmological Society meeting in March 2004.