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First 3D Printed Eye surgery takes place in London

Steve Varze
Steve Varze Image credit:

A man from Hackney will be the first to become the first patient to be fitted with a 3D printed prosthetic eye.

Steve Varze, from Hackney, will undergo the procedure today, November 25, at Moorfields Eye Hospital in London.

The standard treatment offers patients a traditional acrylic prosthetic eye which takes two-hours session to mould before being inserted and painted, which can take months.

But the new 3D prosthetic is estimated to only take a few weeks and the first appointment should only take about 30 minutes.

Varze, in his forties, has always been self-conscious about his prosthetic eye and personal appearance.

The engineer told Evening Standard: “I’ve needed a prosthetic since I was 20, and I’ve always felt self-conscious about it.

“When I leave my home I often take a second glance in the mirror, and I’ve not liked what I’ve seen.

“This new eye looks fantastic and, being based on 3D digital printing technology, it’s only going to be better and better.”

Professor Mandeep Sagoo, consultant ophthalmologist at Moorfields Eye Hospital, said: “We hope the forthcoming clinical trial will provide us with robust evidence about the value of this new technology, showing what a difference it makes for patients. It clearly has the potential to reduce waiting lists.”

The 3D printed eye will make it easier for up to 60,000 NHS patients and reduce waiting times.