Corneal Grafts

Corneal Grafts

Introduction
A corneal graft is a transplant operation, involving removal of the central part of the cornea (the clear front window of the eye) and its replacement with a cornea from a donor.
A corneal graft may be performed in isolation or together with another procedure, such as cataract surgery. It takes a long time to recover from a corneal graft operation we hope this information sheet will help you to understand what to expect. However, it is not possible to provide specific, tailored information in this way. Your surgeon will give you additional information based upon knowledge of your own case.
Most of the information in this document concerns a full thickness (penetrating) corneal graft. There is a section at the end giving information about partial thickness (lamellar) grafts.

Inner Layer Corneal Transplant

alt : Cornea: DSEK

Full Thickness Corneal Transplant

alt : Cornea: Transplant

The Normal Cornea

The Normal Cornea
The Cornea is like a lens, and it must serve 2 functions:

  • Remain clear
  • Focus light on the retina by having the correct amount of curvature

If the cornea is not clear it will block light coming into the eye. This may result from: scarring by infection or inflammation; swelling with fluid from inside the eye; inherited disorders; trauma; metabolic disorders, and other reasons. The vision may be compared to looking through a murky window.

If the curve of the cornea is not right, then light will be focused in front of the retina (short sighted), behind the retina (long sighted), or in multiple places (astigmatism). This results in blurred vision.

Why Do You Need This Operation?
Where Does The New Cornea Come From?
The Operation Itself
After The Operation
Treatment And Supervision
Seeing Clearly After The Operation
Stitches
Grafts, Work and Activity
Complications Of The Operation
Causes Of Failure Of Corneal Implants
Lamellar Grafts And How They Differ
Advantages Of A Lamellar Graft

As with any surgical procedure, there are risks of which you must be aware. Your doctor will explain these risks to you and ensure that you understand them completely. You will be given time to discuss all issues to your satisfaction.