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Where there is no law, but every man does what is right in his own eyes, there is the least of real liberty
Henry M. Robert

Soldier’s eyesight saved

Vinnytsia military medics performed a unique operation
11 August, 2014 - 18:25

A brigade of medics consisting of ophthalmological, maxillofacial, and otolaryngological specialists performed a unique surgery at the base of a military medical clinical center of the Central Region in Vinnytsia. An injured soldier had a gunshot splinter wound of three adjacent areas in the right side of his face. In particular, the splinters damaged his eye, shattered maxillary sinus, side and bottom walls of the orbit, tore out a part of bone, skin, and lower eyelid. As a result of a five-hour surgery, the soldier’s eyesight was saved and his face was restored.

Medical Service Colonels Oleksandr Varchenko, Andrii Samoilynko, retired Medical Service Colonel Mykola Drachevsky, Medical Service Captain Serhii Oliinyk, and officer of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Natalia Kapshuk selected the best substitutional plastic material and created a detailed blueprint of the surgery. With the help of a metal grid, doctors restored the inferior and lateral walls of the orbit, which allowed to shape the orbit itself, where an ocular prosthesis will be implanted in the future. Distortions to the right side of face, which were caused by the splinter injury, were eliminated with the help of another, titanium grid. Walls of the maxillary sinus were restored and fixed in place. Skin and lower eyelid plastic surgery was performed with the use of local tissues.

“The uniqueness of the surgery is that we virtually restored the usual appearance of a face and preserved the soldier’s eyesight,” said head of the Clinics of maxillofacial surgery, dentistry, otolaryngology and eye diseases, Medical Service Colonel Oleksandr VARCHENKO. “Besides, the surgery was performed simultaneously by a team of specialists in various fields, this is a good training for us, we have not done anything of this kind before.”

Now the soldier is rehabilitating. Military medics hope that after receiving an ocular prosthesis he will continue service in the Armed Forces and will have good eyesight.

By Olesia SHUTKEVYCH, Vinnytsia