Dalai Lama’s vision restored, say AIIMS docs

Durgesh Nandan Jha, TNN

NEW DELHI: Two days after he underwent an eye surgery, Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lamavisited All-India Institute of Medical Sciences(AIIMS) on Tuesday for a check-up. 
Doctors said that his vision has been restored. The 76-year-old leader had a cataract in the left eye, a clouding of the eye's natural lens. The cataract was removed and an intra-ocular lens was implanted for better vision. Dr R V Azad, chief ofRajendra Prasad Centre for Ophthalmic Sciences, AIIMS, said the surgery was conducted by a team of doctors led by Dr J S Titiyal on Sunday. 

"It involved removing the cataract in the left eye and replacing it with an artificial lens. The process was completed within half an hour and the leader was discharged after that. He was called on Tuesday for a follow-up," Azad said. 

Dalai Lama arrived at AIIMS on Tuesday around 4pm and spent close to 45 minutes at the hospital. Dr Titiyal, professor of ophthalmology at AIIMS, said, "Dalai Lama was very happy. He had a long chat with the doctors after the checkup and thanked us for the services. He appreciated the infrastructure at the hospital". The septuagenarian leader will visit the hospital again in March. 

Cataract is a clouding of the eye's natural lens, which lies behind the iris and the pupil. It is the most common cause of vision loss in people above 50 years. Experts say India is home to 12 million blind people of which 70% are affected by cataract. About 5 million cataract surgeries are done annually, the highest in the world. 

The exiled Tibetan leader underwent a gall bladder surgery at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital on October 10, 2008. In August the same year, he was admitted to Lilavati Hospital in Mumbai twice with abdominal discomfort.

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