Boy who had eyes gouged out in recovery after successful op

SHENZHEN - The ocular prosthesis implant surgery for Guo Bin, the 6-year-old boy whose eyes were gouged out last month in Shanxi province, went very well, a doctor said.

"Generally speaking, the operation was very smooth. We did not find infection inside the scars, and we are glad that we prepared two operation plans in advance," said Dennis Lam Shun-Chiu, an oculist from Hong Kong.

The surgery started around 2 pm and finished at about 6:30 pm at the C-MER (Shenzhen) Dennis Lam Eye Hospital.

Lam said that the team spent about two hours on each eye.

In the morning's briefing, Lam said the customised prosthetic eyes fill up about 70 per cent of the eye socket. After the wound is healed, they can implant cosmetic eye shells to the remaining 30 per cent to give Guo natural-looking eyes.

Lam said that due to scarring in Guo's left eye, the doctors had to transfer some fat from the boy's left hip to the area so that the ocular prosthesis would fit properly.

The cut in his left hip was about 3 cm long.

Guo Bin and his parents arrived in Shenzhen on Sunday. The boy was immediately sent back to the ward with his parents after the surgery.

Before the operation, Lam asked Guo if he was afraid.

"Bin Bin said he would be a brave man and not cry," said Lam. "The boy even smiled after entering the operating room."

Lam said the boy's eyes are still capable of generating tears after the surgery, and tears will not cause an infection.

The surgery was led by oculist Fairooz P. Manjandavida and three other doctors.

Guo will need four to six weeks for recovery. In about three weeks, the hospital will make the cosmetic eye shells for him.

Lam said that the hospital is currently contacting a physical therapist for Guo.

After two months, the hospital will train Guo to use navigation sensors, to help him walk on his own and live independently in a familiar environment.

The surgery and equipment cost about HK$300,000 (S$49,097) and will be paid for by the hospital.

The hospital will also set up a fund with other charity organisations to pay for Guo's future therapy expenses in Germany or Japan.

Lam established the C-MER (Shenzhen) Dennis Lam Eye Hospital, the first Hong Kong-funded ophthalmic hospital in the Chinese mainland. He organised a team to follow Guo's case after the incident.

Zhao Yang contributed to this story.