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Last Updated: Monday, 23 January 2006, 20:18 GMT
Surgeons make new eyelid implant
Gold eyelid ring
The implants have been successfully used on seven patients
Plastic surgeons at North Bristol NHS Trust have developed a new eyelid implant that could change the treatment of people with facial palsy.

Patients cannot control the movements of their face and some cannot close their eyelids, leading to blindness.

Current treatment involves inserting gold weights into the upper eyelid to force it to close, but this leads to soreness of the eyelid.

Instead, the new implant anchors itself on to the inside of the eyelid.

Antonio Orlando, Kevin Page and Ahmad Bhatti, from North Bristol NHS Trust, have developed the new weight.

Life changing

Mr Orlando, who has been leading the trial, said: "We have devised a new shape for the implant, comprising of a ring of gold with one large central opening which should reduce the risk of displacement and extrusion.

"These implants are custom manufactured at Frenchay Hospital... and have been successfully used on seven of our patients over the past two years."

Michael Cole, from Montpelier in Bristol, has had the implant and said it had made a major difference to his life.

He said: "Before the operation I had to tape my eyelid shut at night so I could sleep.

"Now I have a fully functional eyelid again for the first time in about two years. It has made such a difference to my life."



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