Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others. – Jonathan Swift

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What is cornea transplant?

A cornea transplant is a surgical procedure and is also called a keratoplasty. A person whose cornea is diseased or damaged is likely to suffer from loss of vision and other symptoms. In a corneal transplant procedure, a part of the patient’s cornea is replaced with corneal tissue from a donor.

Possible Causes:

The light rays that pass through the cornea help you focus your eyes. If the cornea gets damaged, it may distort your vision.

Possible causes for the damage could be bacterial infections, heredity or scars due to an injury.

At the outset, our experts recommend use of prescription glasses, contact lenses and medication to treat the cornea. However, a corneal transplant becomes necessary when nothing else works.

Some eye problems that are cured through corneal transplant:

  • Cornea scarring because of an injury or an infection herpes or fungal keratitis.
  • Corneal ulcers caused due to an infection or chemical burns
  • Bulging of your cornea, a condition called keratoconus
  • Thinning, clouding, or swelling of the cornea
  • Fuchs' dystrophy

Risk Factors:

Corneal transplant is a safe procedure. However, there are some risk factors associated with it:

  • Eye infection and swelling of the cornea.
  • Clouding of the eye's lens which is cataract.
  • Increase of pressure within the eyeball called glaucoma.
  • Problems with the stitches used to secure the donor cornea.
  • Out of all the risks, the greatest risk for corneal transplant (keratoplasty) is the inability of the body to accept the donated tissue. In this situation, the immune system attacks the donated tissue, a process called rejection.

Signs & Symptoms:

In some cases, your body's immune system may mistakenly attack the donor cornea. This is called rejection, and it may require medical treatment or another cornea transplant.

Some symptoms of rejection:

  • Loss of vision
  • Pain
  • Redness
  • Sensitivity to light
  • In about 10 percent of cases, corneal transplant rejection is found to occur.

Diagnosis:

At Medcare, preparations for a corneal transplant are done as follows:

  • At first, our ophthalmologist conducts a thorough eye examination to rule out conditions that may cause complications after surgery.
  • Exact measurements of your eye are required to decide the size of donor cornea for you.
  • The doctor needs to know your medical conditions and any prescription medications that you take. Further any eye problems that may affect your surgery need to be treated first.
  • A corneal transplant is an outpatient procedure. As techniques and procedures improve, the success rates are rising.

Treatment Options:

Schedule a consultation at Medcare’s Ophthalmology Department to understand the various option for corneal transplants. The different types of corneal transplants are:

  • Full Thickness Corneal Transplant - In penetrating keratoplasty (PK), the eye surgeon replaces all the layers of your cornea. This procedure is recommended in severe cornea injury or serious bulging and scarring. The healing period is really long.
  • Partial Thickness Corneal Transplant - In deep anterior lamellar keratoplasty (DALK), the surgeon replaces only the thin outside and thick middle layers of your cornea. There's less chance of an eye infection and the healing is faster.
  • Endothelial Keratoplasty - Most people requiring corneal transplants have a problem with the innermost layer of the cornea, the endothelium. Recovery is easier.
FAQs: الأسئلة الشائعة:
  • What is the function of a corneal transplant?

    A: When a person's cornea gets damaged from infection, disease or an injury, it becomes less transparent and its shape changes too. A corneal transplant can restore vision, reduce pain and improve the appearance of a damaged or diseased cornea. While most corneal transplant surgeries are successful there is a small risk of rejection of the donor cornea.

  • How long does it take to recover from corneal transplant surgery?

    A: It usually takes at least 6 to 8 weeks. Your eyes may be red and sensitive to light. Some people feel discomfort or soreness for a few days longer. In some cases, a removal of sutures may be needed, and eye drops may be required for a long time.

  • How is a corneal transplant done?

    A: During a corneal transplant, the surgeon cuts through the entire thickness of the diseased cornea to remove a small disk of the corneal tissue. Then an instrument that acts like a cookie cutter is used to make this precise circular cut.

  • Can you go blind from a corneal transplant?

    A: A corneal transplant involves replacing a diseased cornea with a new one. When the cornea becomes cloudy, light cannot penetrate the eye to reach the light sensitive retina. Poor vision or blindness may occur.

  • Can you wear eye makeup after a corneal transplant?

    A: No, you shouldn't wear any make-up after the corneal transplant for at least a month after the surgery. 

  • How long can one expect a corneal transplant to last?

    A: A corneal transplant has been known to last for 20 years or more. However, the longevity of the transplanted cornea depends primarily on the donor's and the recipient's age.

    Corneas that are taken from donors in the age group of 34 to 70 have been found to remain healthy for maximum recipients with a success rate as high as 75 per cent. But corneas taken from donors who are under the age of 34 have been found to perform even better in corneal transplants and increases the longevity of the transplanted cornea.
     
    If you have to get a corneal transplant done and unsure of who to reach out, book an appointment with a Medcare eye specialist today.
     

  • What is the success rate of a corneal transplant?

    A: A corneal transplant can become a necessity if you have a diseased corneal tissue. In such cases, a corneal transplant is the recommended treatment option. However, many people wonder whether or not their corneal transplant is going to be successful. Corneal transplants have a 90% success rate today. 

    That being said, each patient must be evaluated to determine the rate of success. This depends on various factors such as the condition of the donor’s cornea, surgical technique and skill, the healing ability of the recipient cornea, etc. Based on these factors, it is determined whether you are a suitable candidate or not.

    Book an appointment with a Medcare eye specialist today for a successful corneal transplant.
     

  • Can the cornea heal itself?

    A: If your cornea gets damaged by infection, disease, or injury, then it is likely that your vision will be affected. A critical fact that everyone should know is that the cornea can heal itself after suffering from minor infections or minor injuries. However, you need to give your cornea time to heal completely.

    During the healing period, you might experience pain, blurry vision, redness in the eyes, and extreme sensitivity to light if the symptoms get severe. In such cases, it is best to consult your doctor to find a further course of action.

    If you are experiencing any eye-related issue, book an appointment with a Medcare eye specialist today.
     

  • Do corneal transplants last forever?

    A: It is tough to determine whether a corneal transplant can last forever. Some corneas tend to last forever, but some may need to be replaced due to transplant rejection. It is important to remember that transplant rejection doesn't happen immediately. When it comes to corneal transplants, rejections can occur even 20 years later. 

  • What can cause corneal transplant rejection?

    A: This could happen due to a simple failure of the transplanted new cells over a period of time. It also depends on the age and overall health of the donated tissue.

    Some other complications that can decrease the life of the newly transplanted cornea include cataracts and glaucoma. However, many cases of rejection can be treated successfully with steroids.

    If you are facing any corneal transplant issues, book an appointment with a Medcare specialist today.
     

  • What is the recovery time for a corneal transplant?

    A: Complete recovery from a corneal transplant can take up to a year or even longer. However, initial improvement can be seen within three to seventeen weeks of surgery. If any stitches have been used during the surgery, then they will also be removed within three to seventeen weeks. 

    During this time, you must remain patient and allow the eye to heal properly. It is always good to be aware of all the details related to your corneal transplant before you go into surgery. So, consult your doctor to know about your condition, recovery time, and precautions to be taken.

    Book an appointment with a Medcare eye specialist for a successful corneal transplant.
     

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