Eye tissue donors like Portland Trail Blazer Jerome Kersey have saved the eyesight of more than 30,000 people

When we think about organ donation, we often think about the heart, kidney or liver, but eye tissue from deceased organ donors also can be gifted to patients in need of sight-saving surgeries.

Now surgeons at OHSU Casey Eye Institute are using a new technique called halo® graft, a patch made of donated corneal tissue, to perform tube shunt surgeries that prevent vision loss in glaucoma patients. Glaucoma is the leading cause of irreversible blindness worldwide.

Shandiz Tehrani, M.D., Ph.D., an ophthalmologist and glaucoma specialist at Casey Eye Institute, has performed more than 100 surgeries using the halo® graft, which was developed by researchers at Lions VisionGift, Oregon’s eye bank. While topical medication and lasers are used in mild to moderate cases of glaucoma, patients with severe glaucoma often need surgery to prevent blindness.

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