Corneal Transplant – DSAEK

Closeup of an Eye With Keratoconus In Need of a Corneal Transplant

The cornea is the clear covering of the front of the eye which bends, or refracts, light rays as they enter the eye. For clear vision to occur, the cornea must have the correct shape and clarity to focus incoming light rays precisely on the retina at the back of the eye.

When the cornea becomes cloudy or misshapen from injury, infection or disease, transplantation may be recommended to replace it.

Conditions That May be Treated With Corneal Transplant Include:

  • Keratoconus (a cornea that bulges outward)
  • Fuchs’ dystrophy
  • Cornea scarring, caused by infection or injury
  • Swelling of the cornea
  • Thinning or tearing of the cornea
  • Corneal ulcers not responding to medical treatment
  • Complications caused by previous eye surgery

Types of Treatment

Closeup of an Eye That Has Had a Corneal Transplant

There are several different cornea procedures available to help restore vision in patients with corneal problems. The traditional corneal transplant procedure involves replacing the entire damaged cornea with a healthy one from a human donor, which is usually obtained from an eye bank. However, technological advances have allowed for the development of specialized procedures that replace only the damaged part of the cornea, while leaving the healthy parts intact.

A cornea transplant (keratoplasty) is a surgical procedure to replace part of your cornea with corneal tissue from a donor. A cornea transplant can restore vision, reduce pain, and improve the appearance of a damaged or diseased cornea. Most cornea transplant procedures are successful, but cornea transplant carries a small risk of complications, such as rejection of the donor cornea.

Full Thickness Corneal Transplant

If both the front and inner corneal layers of the eye are damaged, the entire cornea may need to be replaced. PK or Penetrating Keratoplasty is a full thickness, complete transplant of the damaged or diseased cornea with a donor cornea.

Partial Thickness Corneal Transplant

In some eye conditions, the innermost layer of the cornea, the endothelium, is damaged. Endothelial keratoplasty is a surgery to replace this layer of the cornea with healthy donor tissue. It is known as a partial transplant since only this inner layer of tissue is replaced.

Types of endothelial keratoplasty:

Each of these procedures removes the damaged cells from an inner layer of the cornea called Descemet’s membrane. The damaged layer is removed, and new tissue is put in place. The surgeon will recommend which procedure is most appropriate, depending on the individual anatomy of the patient’s eye.

To learn more about corneal transplant procedures, and to find out whether or not this procedure is right for you, please call us today at 301-681-6600 to schedule a consultation, or click the button below to fill out our online form.

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