Corneal transplant surgery or corneal transplantation is not recommended for patients which can get the same results through other types of less invasive treatment.
Patients need to have a thorough eye examination with an ophthalmologist before the corneal transplant surgery. The patient should also have a physical examination, blood tests, EKG and X-rays done before the corneal transplantation procedure.
How It Is Performed
Corneal transplant surgery is usually done under general anesthesia but local anesthesia with IV sedation may also be used.
Penetrating keratoplasty surgery – full corneal transplant
Once the anesthesia kicks in, the surgeon uses a circular cutting device to remove the cornea from the donor. Another circular cutting device is used to remove the patient’s cornea as well. Once that is done, the cornea is sewn in place with very small sutures. Antibiotic eye drops are then used in order to reduce the risk of infection.
Lamellar keratoplasty surgery – partial corneal transplant
Several techniques can be used while performing lamellar keratoplasty surgery. The only difference is that diseased layers of the cornea are replaced and healthy layers are left in place.
Once the corneal transplantation procedure is over, the patient will spend some time in hospital in order to recover.
Antibiotics in the form of eye drops are used for a few weeks after the corneal transplant procedure. Corticosteroids are also used for a few months after the corneal transplantation procedure is done. Patients will be required to wear sunglasses, glasses or eye shields in order to protect the eye from any trauma.
Corneal transplantation procedure risks and complications include:
● Cataract formation
● Retinal detachment
● Other vision problems
Corneal transplant surgery side effects include:
● Inflammation in the eyes region
● Itchiness in the eyes region
● Pain and discomfort
● Dry eyes
Corneal transplantation reviews set the average success rate between 70 and 89%, depending on the problems the patient is facing.
Before And After
It takes around 18 months for the patient to achieve full visual potential after the corneal transplant surgery. Some patients may also wear rigid contact lenses after the corneal transplantation procedure. The patient’s sight will slowly improve over the course of 12 to 18 months.
- What is the chance of developing rejection symptoms after a corneal transplant?
It usually happens in less than 20% of cases.
- Are there any alternatives to corneal transplant surgery?
Yes, a few – including contact lenses.
- Are there any alternatives to using a cornea from a deceased individual?