Keratoplasty (Cornea Transplant)

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Intro To Keratoplasty (Cornea Transplant)

Intro To Keratoplasty (Cornea Transplant)

We have good news for people who have damaged cornea and want to have better vision! Cornea transplant has become easier and quicker and is the most common and most successful transplant procedure. Keratoplasty, also called cornea transplant or cornea grafting, is a surgical intervention to remove part or entirety of the cornea and replace it with new, healthy donor tissue. The cornea is the front part of the eye that facilitates the passage of light. Interestingly, ophthalmologists have been performing this procedure for 100 years. Therefore, it’s certainly not a new innovation by any means! Types of keratoplasty include penetrating keratoplasty (PK), deep anterior lamellar keratoplasty (DALK), and endothelial keratoplasty (EK). Your doctor will choose the right type for your case depending on which part of the cornea is damaged.

Benefits of Keratoplasty (Cornea Transplant)

Keratoplasty may be able to restore or improve your vision after developing a disease that damages your cornea. In short, below are the benefits of this surgery:

Benefits of Keratoplasty (Cornea Transplant)
  • 1Restore your vision and your ability to see bright lights clearly
  • 2Reduce eye pain resulting from corneal damage or disease
  • 3Improve the appearance of a damaged cornea
  • 4Treat different eye conditions, such as keratoconus and corneal ulcers
  • 5Receive a very successful transplant procedure

Candidates for Keratoplasty (Cornea Transplant)

First, you need to contact an experienced ophthalmologist to discuss with them everything related to the surgery. They may prepare for the surgery by doing the following:

 Candidates for Keratoplasty (Cornea Transplant)
  • 1Obtain the donated cornea from deceased individuals whose families gave permission.
  • 2Perform a physical exam and take exact measurements of your eye.
  • 3Instruct you to stop using certain medications, including blood thinners.
  • 4Instruct you to stop eating and drinking after midnight on the night before surgery.
  • 5Tell you to keep your face free of makeup, creams, lotions, and jewelry.
  • 6Arrange for someone to escort you after the procedure.

Steps of Keratoplasty (Cornea Transplant)

Despite being a delicate procedure, ophthalmologists can perform keratoplasty in outpatient facilities, and only need less than 2 hours to complete it under local anesthesia. Here is a brief overview of its steps:

1. Cut the Recipient’s Cornea

1. Cut the Recipient’s Cornea

Your doctor is going to operate on your eye using a microscope and will start the surgery by removing or cutting a circular piece from your damaged cornea using a cookie cutter-like knife called a trephine.

2. Cut the Donor Cornea

2. Cut the Donor Cornea

Next, your doctor will use another similar knife to cut and remove a piece from the donor cornea.

3. Place the Donor Cornea

3. Place the Donor Cornea

Finally, your doctor replaces the recipient’s cornea with the donor cornea and uses fine sutures to sew it into place.

Recovery After Keratoplasty (Cornea Transplant)

You may experience irritation, light sensitivity, and redness in the first few days following the surgery. The recovery phase may also entail the following:

Recovery After Keratoplasty (Cornea Transplant)
  • 1Take over-the-counter pain relievers and eye drops as your doctor prescribes.
  • 2You will have an eye patch on your eye after the surgery. Wear it when showering and sleeping.
  • 3You need to avoid certain activities to prevent unwanted damage.
  • 4Your surgeon will check on your condition within 24 to 48 hours of your surgery.
  • 5Some transplant procedures require you to lie flat on your back during the day and night.
  • 6Your doctor will take out stitches at the office a few months later.
  • 7Full recovery of vision and eyesight may take several months or a year because the cornea heals slowly.

Risks of Keratoplasty (Cornea Transplant)

Keratoplasty is a safe procedure but it’s still carrying some risks and potential side effects. For instance, organ rejection can occur in about 1 out of 10 patients. This happens when your body’s immune system attacks the donated cornea. Other side effects include:

Risks of Keratoplasty (Cornea Transplant)
  • 1Corneal bleeding, infection, or swelling
  • 2Glaucoma or cataracts
  • 3Fluid leakage from your cornea
  • 4Visual acuity problems
  • 5Detachment of the corneal transplant
  • 6Detached retina

– The cornea is a thin, transparent layer at the front of the eye. – It helps you focus on the image so that it appears clear and visible.

Ophthalmologists often suggest keratoplasty for people who have the following eye conditions: Inherited or genetic eye diseases, such as Fuchs’ dystrophy Cornea scarring due to infection or injury Corneal clouding or swelling Corneal ulcers Keratoconus

– Improve vision – Reduce pain – Improve the outer appearance of the cornea if its color has turned to white or if any wound or scars.

The doctor might recommend patients with the following eye diseases to undergo a corneal transplant: – Keratitis – Keratoconus – Corneal ulcers – Thinning or clouding of the cornea – Corneal swelling

– Penetrating keratoplasty. – Partial keratoplasty. – Keratoplasty (only the affected corneal lining is removed).

The patient needs several weeks or a few months until the wound heals and vision improves and returns to normal.



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