A cornea transplant is used to replace a diseased or scarred cornea with a healthy donor cornea. There are two main types of corneal transplants: the traditional, full thickness transplant (referred to as penetrating keratoplasty, PK) and back layer cornea transplant (referred to as endothelial keratoplasty, EK).
A corneal transplant treats a number of conditions, some of which include:
- thinning of the cornea (Keratoconus)
- cornea scarring (caused by infection of injury)
- corneal ulcer and complications caused by previous eye surgery
What to Expect
Kaufman Eye performs corneal transplant surgery as a same day procedure, and generally takes around an hour. Before surgery, the patient is given a light intravenous sedative and a local anesthetic, to numb the eye and keep it from moving. The surgeon will the use a special cutting tool, called a trephine, which works like a cookie cutter. It removes the section of damaged cornea from your eye. The surgeon then places the new section of cornea onto your eye. Once the corneal transplant is completed, the surgeon will sew the new cornea into place using ultra-thin stitches with the help of a microscope.
Recovery from corneal transplant tends to be slow. In the first few day after surgery, you will need to protect your eye by wearing a protective shield over it. You will need eye drops for several months after the transplant, which will then be reduced to one drop a day or discontinued. The stitches may stay in your eyes for months, or even years. The doctor can then remove them in a simple procedure.
If you are interested in seeing if you are a good candidate for corneal transplant surgery, contact us at any of our convenient locations (Zephyrhills, Sun City Center, Bushnell, Wesley Chapel) to learn more.