A corneal transplant involves surgically removing the patient’s diseased cornea and replacing it with a donated corneal tissue. This improves the vision in conditions where blurring is due a corneal pathology generally after trauma, after infection and congenital or genetic corneal disorders. After eye donation cornea is removed from the donor eye ball and used during cornea transplantation
Just like any other eye surgery there can be some risks associated with cornea transplantation like infections, retinal swelling etc. Besides in some of these cases there is also the risk of body rejecting the donor cornea. Most of the times the risks associated with the cornea transplant are unique to each individual and your cornea specialist can explain to you in detail after assessing the condition of your eye and the cornea.
Cornea is a transparent layer on the front of your eye which helps to converge the light rays onto the retina for clear vision. Any kind of cloudiness of cornea can interfere with clear vision.
A cornea transplant is advised by an eye specialist when there is decreased vision due to corneal pathology like corneal scars and opacities, advanced keratoconus where other treatment options are not possible, severe corneal infections, etc. A cornea transplant can restore vision although a need for glasses or contact lens may be there to correct refractive errors.
An eye surgeon with a special training in corneal transplantation and having the license to transplant human tissues can perform corneal transplants.
Cornea transplantation can be full thickness or partial thickness. The choice of procedure is dependent on the patient’s corneal disease. For example, if the cornea is scarred in all the layers then a full thickness transplant called penetrating keratoplasty is done whereby all the layers of patient’s cornea are replaced by the donor cornea and sutured in place. In contrast in other conditions like post cataract surgery corneal edema where only the back layer of cornea is damaged. In this condition only the back layer is replaced with donor’s corneal back layer in a procedure called as DSEK/DMEK.