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Corneal Transplant a First for Afghanistan

History was made Aug. 21 when a U.S. Army surgeon completed the first corneal transplant surgery in Afghanistan. Ophthalmologist Maj. Buck Rogers performed the transplant on a senior Afghan military officer. The operation at the 14th Combat Support Hospital took just under two hours. The officer lost sight in both eyes in July 2005 when he and other Afghan Soldiers suffered a direct blast from a cache of weapons and explosives they discovered near Chamkani in the Paktya Province. The medical attention the officer received after the explosion enabled the left eye to regain normal vision. The right eye however sustained more damage and remained blind. The cornea transplant hopes to correct this problem. The surgery was a success but doctors are hesitant to celebrate. It takes six months to one year to fully recover.  However for the patient, the surgery and hope of regaining vision in the eye are great achievements in themselves.

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