The cornea is the clear 'window' on the front of the eye which needs to be a regular shape to help the eye to focus and see well.
Some disorders such as Keratoconus distort the cornea while others, such as corneal dystrophy make the cornea become opaque (foggy) and can severely affect the quality of vision.
If the vision cannot be improved by wearing glasses, contact lenses or medication, it may become necessary to replace some layers or the whole thickness of the cornea. This kind of treatment is called a 'keratoplasty' or corneal transplant.
When would you need a corneal transplant?
If the cornea has become very thin, has scarring from injury or disease, or has become foggy in a way that cannot be reversed by other means, a corneal transplant may be indicated.
Your Doctor will advise you on the condition of your eyes and all the appropriate options available to you.
How long does the surgery take?
The time in the operating room is normally 1-2 hours.
Where do the replacement corneas come from?
The new cornea would be obtained from an ' eye bank' – a company which screens and stores donated human corneas to make sure they are healthy and safe.
The eye bank must be accredited by the Eye Bank Association of America ( EBAA) to make sure that the quality of the Cornea is meeting international standards of care
What would my vision be like after the surgery?
Since the cornea is flexible, it will take some time to settle down after the surgery and the vision could be blurry while the cornea is healing. To make sure the new cornea stays in the correct shape, there will be stitches left in for at least a few months.
Initially the eye may look a little red, but your Doctor will give you eye drops to help resolve this.
Be sure you are accompanied on the day of surgery and have help to get home after the treatment.
Do I need to take special precautions after the surgery?
The treated eye will be covered with a special patch on the first day, then you should continue with the eye drops as directed by your Doctor.
You will be advised on the kind of activities that would be appropriate for your stage of recovery during your follow-up visits with your consultant
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