Corneal transplant surgery, also known as corneal transplantation or simply corneal grafting is a surgical procedure in which a diseased or otherwise damaged cornea is replaced with a donated, healthy cornea.
The cornea is the clear tissue that covers the front of the eye and as such, it must remain clear for patients to see properly. The cornea is a sensitive part of the eye, and it can get damaged due to a wide range of reasons, including:
● Corneal scarring from infections or blunt trauma
● Keratoconus – a condition in which the cornea becomes very thin and changes its shape
● Dystrophies – Fuchs’ dystrophy, Lattice dystrophy and many others
There are two types of corneal transplantation or corneal transplant surgery:
● Penetrating keratoplasty – During this procedure, the entire cornea is replaced with a healthy donor cornea – it is also known as a full corneal transplant
● Lamellar keratoplasty – During this procedure, only part of the cornea is replaced – it is also known as a partial corneal transplant
The graft is usually harvested from a recently dead individual with a healthy cornea. It’s worthy to note that although it is a generally successful procedure which provides long-lasting results, corneal transplant surgery is only performed when other types of treatment are ineffective.