Cornea Center

Cornea Transplant Surgery (Keratoplasty)

This type of surgery is a procedure to replace part of your cornea with corneal tissue from a donor. Most often, this surgery is undertaken to restore vision to a person with a damaged cornea.

Additionally, the procedure may relieve pain or other symptoms associated with diseases of the cornea. Some conditions treated by cornea transplant are outward bulges in the cornea (keratoconus), Fuchs’ dystrophy, thinning of the cornea, cornea scarring caused by infection or injury, clouding of the cornea, swelling of the cornea, and corneal ulcers.

Cornea Transplants and You

Cornea transplants can restore lost or limited vision, reduce pain, and improve the appearance of a damaged or diseased cornea. If you need to explore cornea surgery, reach out to schedule a consultation with one of our cornea specialists.

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Understanding the Cornea

The cornea represents the very front surface of the eye or the outer surface of the eye. The cornea plays a major role in how you focus on images. In conjunction with your natural crystalline lens, the cornea helps to provide required focusing power. If the cornea becomes weak or damaged due to disease or traumatic injury, serious vision problems may arise.

Treating the cornea with medication is typically the first thing that the doctors will try. If your vision cannot be accurately corrected with medications, eyeglasses or contact lenses then a corneal transplant may be required.

How Corneal Transplants Work (Keratoplasty)

The diseased or damaged cornea tissue is carefully removed and replaced with a donor cornea from a human eye from a recently deceased person. The donor corneas come from eye banks that store and collect corneas for this very purpose.

Corneal transplants are performed by our board certified and cornea fellowship trained surgeons: Dr. Andre Cohen and Dr. Puneet Panda.

Our board certified and cornea fellowship trained doctors perform:
Full corneal transplants (Penetrating Keratoplasty or PK)
Partial-thickness corneal transplants, also called DSEK (Descemet’s Stripping Endothelial Keratoplasty)

Dr. Andre Cohen was one of the first surgeons in our area to perform DSEK.

Cornea transplant surgery is painless due to the administration of a local anesthetic at the beginning of the procedure. Some patients may be given general anesthesia, particularly if their overall medical condition is in question.

Corneal Transplant Recovery

Recovering from a corneal transplant may take some time. Pain medicine should control any residual pain during the recovery period.  Stitches will remain in the eye for 6-12 months after this surgery. Eye drops will have to be used while the stitches are in place to assure proper healing and low doses of steroid eye drops are often prescribed on a permanent basis to prevent rejection.

If you are experiencing any vision changes, contact us today at 770-427-8111 to schedule a comprehensive eye exam.