Corneal Transplantation for Corneal and External Eye Disease
Corneal transplantation, or keratoplasty, is recommended when the cornea becomes opaque, swollen, or irregularly shaped due to extensive damage that occurs due to disease, infection or injury.
Common problems that require transplantation are:
- Corneal Scars
- Corneal endothelial dysfunction (Fuch’s Corneal Dystrophy)
- Corneal Ulceration
- Herpes Simplex Keratopathy
- Pellucid Marginal Degeneration
- Corneal Dystrophies
- Traumatic injuries
- External tumors
- Chemical Burns
- Neurotrophic keratitis
- Ocular surface diseases
Transplantation involves replacing the damaged cornea with a healthy one from a donor (usually through an eye bank). Keratoplasty is the most common type of transplant surgery and has the highest success rate.
During the procedure, a circular incision is made in the cornea. A disc of tissue is removed and replaced with healthy tissue; these discs may be thin (lamellar keratoplasty) or as deep as the entire cornea (penetrating keratoplasty, the technique used in almost all corneal transplants). Local anesthesia may be used. Sutures are required to fixate the new cornea transplant in position. Other procedures can be combined with corneal transplant including cataract surgery and lens implantation or lens exchange.