Corneal transplantation refers to the replacement of all or part of the cornea (the front window of the eye) with a donor cornea. It was first performed in the early 1900s. During all types of corneal transplantation, the diseased part of the patient’s cornea is removed and replaced with healthy corneal tissue from a human donor.
Corneal transplantation refers to replacement of all or part of the cornea; the specific transplant type is dependent on the underlying problem.
There are many different reasons why the cornea may be damaged and lose its clarity and transparency leading to loss of vision. These can include infective causes such as the herpes simplex virus (cold sore virus) or contact lens related infection, traumatic injuries, inherited diseases such as Fuchs’ dystrophy or lattice dystrophy, or even previous cataract or glaucoma surgery.
The optical function of the cornea may also be affected by conditions that lead to a change in it’s shape including keratoconus or pellucid marginal degeneration, or due to prior infection or injury.
Often, instead of transplanting the entire cornea, only the diseased portion is transplanted. In keratoconus, this means leaving the endothelial cell layer undisturbed and only transplanting the anterior (front) part of the cornea (Deep anterior lamellar keratoplasty or DALK).
Treatment types are varied including penetrating keratoplasty, lamellar surgery or selective endothelial keratoplasty; your surgeon will recommend the best treatment option for you.
We’ll take you through the process step by step and explain the potential complications to help you to weigh up the risks and benefits in order to make an informed decision regarding corneal transplant surgery.
Our consultants will develop a bespoke treatment plan based on your current level of vision and personal needs.
Our dedicated team of consultants, nurses and patient co-ordinators will take you through our pre-op process ensuring all your questions are answered and you’re totally at ease.
The type of corneal transplant surgery carried out will depend on the parts of the cornea that need to be replaced. It typically takes 20 – 90 minutes.
Most corneal transplant surgery is now carried out as day case surgery. After your surgery, we’ll provide all the information you need to ensure your eye makes a full recovery.
Visual recovery varies, with patients experiencing faster recovery after the partial thickness transplant procedures.
We’ll be in touch to support you and follow up to see how you’re getting on with your new and improved eye sight.
We encourage yearly check ups to ensure your eye sight is remaining in perfect condition.