Why Would I Need a Corneal Transplant?
Corneal transplant is a procedure that replaces the clear front layer of your eye, known as the cornea. There are a multitude of reasons why your eye doctor may recommend a corneal transplant. Scarring from past injuries or infections are common conditions that may require a corneal transplant procedure in one or both eyes to restore optimal vision. Symptoms of a damaged cornea include:
- Eye pain
- Blurred vision
- Cloudy vision
- Light sensitivity
- Swollen eyelids
- Watery eyes or increased tearing
What Should I Expect if I need a Corneal Transplant?
A corneal transplant (keratoplasty) is a surgical procedure that replaces a portion of your cornea with tissue from a donor. This procedure aims to restore vision and reduce pain in patients suffering from corneal damage. The surgeon will remove damaged and/or diseased corneal tissue and replace it with healthy and viable corneal tissue, with the goal of restoring patient quality of life.
Depending on the root cause of the damage to the cornea, your surgeon will recommend the best surgical option for you. Each patient’s needs are unique, and if it is determined that a corneal transplant is warranted, your surgeon will recommend one of the following options:
- Penetrating Keratoplasty
Developed over 100 years ago, this procedure is also known as full thickness cornea transplantation. During this procedure, your surgeon removes the entire center portion of the damaged cornea, suturing a healthy donor cornea in its place.
- Endothelial Keratoplasty
If the innermost layer of your cornea is damaged, known as the endothelium, your surgeon may recommend this procedure. Your surgeon will remove the damaged endothelial tissue and replace it with healthy donor tissue. Unlike other keratoplasty procedures, fewer or no sutures are required. Instead, your surgeon uses an air bubble to keep the donor cornea in place temporarily during the first week or two after surgery