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

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. 

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