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108-year-old woman from Andhra Pradesh undergoes cataract surgery in Mumbai

Five generations of Latifabi Khan’s family watched her go into the operation theatre to get the cataract in her right eye removed; she became the oldest patient ever at the eye centre

Latifabi Khan
Latifabi Khan

A 108-year-old woman recently became the oldest patient in a city hospital to undergo cataract surgery. Five generations of Latifabi Khan’s family watched as the elderly woman was wheeled into the operation theatre. However, after the operation the woman is remarkably fit at the age of 108, apart from a few niggling health issues. Latifabi originally hails from a village near Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh; she has been in the city for the past two months at her son’s house in Kurla.

Ignored vision problems
Ruksana, her great granddaughter, said, “Dadi is not able to see for the last few decades. But, since she was in our native village, the relatives there ignored her vision issues. It was only when we went to attend a family wedding a few months ago, that we saw her condition and decided to get her to Mumbai so that we could seek treatment for her eye.”

Ruksana added, “We had taken her to Jasubhai R K Shah Medical Centre at Matunga where the ophthalmologist, upon initial screening, found that my dadi has cataract in both her eyes, which was affecting her vision.”

Dr Meghali Bhattachargee, a noted ophthalmologist at the centre, and her team performed the surgery. Attempts made to contact Dr Bhattachargee failed, as she was out of Mumbai.

Mostly healthy
A senior office bearer attached to the centre said, “Latifabi was made to undergo various blood tests. We also took a 2D echo test of her heart, and to our surprise, all her health parameters were found to be normal. Hence, she was operated in one eye for cataract in the last week of March.”

Centurion: Latifabi Khan hails from a village near Hyderabad, and couldn’t see for the last few decades. (Right) Her family decided to bring her to Mumbai after they noticed her condition at a wedding. PICS/ATUL KAMBLE
Centurion: Latifabi Khan hails from a village near Hyderabad, and couldn’t see for the last few decades. Her family decided to bring her to Mumbai after they noticed her condition at a wedding. PICS/ATUL KAMBLE

The official added, “This is the first time that we have operated upon a person who is 108-years-old in the last 12 years of our running the eye centre. As per our records, the oldest person prior to this was a 95-year-old.” The official reported that a notarised affidavit was submitted to the centre to confirm Latifabi’s age. While Latifabi is not able to move around the way she could prior to surgery, her doctors are confident that once cataract from both eyes is removed, she would be able to see better. The next surgery is slated for the third week of April.

Doctor says
Dr T P Lahane, dean of JJ Hospital, and an ophthalmologist himself, confirmed that Latifabi would be the oldest person to be operated upon for this surgery. He said, “Usually after 80 years, up to 120 years of age, patients have nuclear cataract, where growth of cataract is restricted. Just last month, I operated on a 102-year-old patient from Vile Parle. The oldest patient I have operated upon was in July 2013, a 104-year-old. This patient can be the oldest to be operated upon.”

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