Houston eye doctor uses placentas to cure vision problems

HOUSTON – After some childbirths, women can donate their placenta for medical use.

With a placenta that meets stringent donor screening and tests, doctors like Chike Mordi from Vision Source said they can fix scarring and inflammation.

Andrea Jenkins is diabetic and desperate to preserve her eye health, so when her contacts were agitating her more than normal, she got help from Dr. Mordi.

“The top layer of my eye was just not there, so he actually put a membrane on top of my eye,” Jenkins said.

Mordi said it's dehydrated amniotic membrane tissue that wraps onto the eye, is held in place by a contact and dissolves.

“The membrane is part of the placenta,” Dr. Mordi said. “Whenever a woman gives birth, and if she decides to donate it, they harvest the tissue itself and then the actual tissue that sits on the eye, the surface of the eye, that heals the eye.”

Dry eyes and abrasions can all improve in just a week.

“The membrane reduces scarring and it reduces inflammation also. And it helps the eye heal faster, it helps it regenerate, like if you think of it like a born-again eye,” Dr. Mordi said.

Jenkins said her eye was grey when she came in and is back to normal now.

“I didn't even know it was possible, I mean I literally kind of lost my vision by the time I got here,” she said. “For me to be able to see after he did it, a week later, it was amazing to me.”

Jenkins liked her results so much, she says she's considering treatment in her other eye.

Dr. Mordi’s office said most insurance companies cover this procedure.