Cornea is the transparent part of the eye that covers the front portion of the eye. When light rays enter the eye through the cornea, it bends or refracts the incoming light onto the lens. The lens further refocuses that light into the retina & that starts translation of light into vision. Human cornea accounts for approximately two-thirds of the eye's total optical power. Loss of transparency directly results in loss of vision.
Your cornea is damaged due to any severe eye disease or eye injury.
Corneal scarring from trauma and infection.
Eye diseases such as advanced keratoconus, a steep curving of the cornea.
Chemical burns of the cornea or damage from an eye injury.
Graft rejection following a previous corneal transplant.
Rejection after a first corneal transplant.
Scarring after infections, especially after eye herpes.
Corneal failure due to cataract surgery complications.
CORNEAL TRANSPLANTATION OR KERATOPLASTY
A Corneal transplant is a surgery through which the opaque cornea is replaced with a healthy transparent cornea obtained from a donor eye. Corneal eye disease is the fourth most common cause of blindness after cataracts, glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration.
CORNEA TRANSPLANT PROCEDURES
Lamellar Corneal Surgery
Femto Assisted Corneal Lamellar Surgery
Femto Assisted Penetrating Keratoplasty
Femto Assisted Endothelial Keratoplasty
Triple Procedure IOL + Keratoplasty
Optical Penetrating Keratoplasty
Therapeutic Penetrating Keratoplasty
a) Penetrating (full thickness) Cornea Transplant or Penetrating Keratoplasty
his procedure involves transplanting all the layers of the patient’s cornea from the donor cornea. This procedure is referred to as a full-thickness transplant because all five layers of the damaged cornea are isolated, removed and replaced by the donor’s cornea.
There are a variety of conditions that can result in the need for a PK, including corneal swelling, scarring or distortion. These conditions blur the vision and may result from genetic conditions, infection or trauma.
b) Deep Anterior Lamellar Keratoplasty (DALK)
DALK is also called a partial-thickness cornea transplant procedure in which the anterior layers of the central cornea (top and middle layers of the cornea) are removed and replaced with donor tissue, leaving the Endothelial cells and the Descemets membrane in place. It is a technically a precise procedure. This technique is used in cases of anterior corneal opacifications, scars and ectatic diseases such as keratoconus.
c) Anterior Lamellar Keratoplasty
Anterior Lamellar Keratoplasty is an alternative treatment that selectively replaces the front part of the cornea when it is scarred or distorted. In ALK, the surgeon dissects the cornea into two thin pieces and removes the front scarred part and replace that area with the healthy tissue of the donor’s cornea.
This procedure is less invasive than a penetrating keratoplasty. Your eye will be stronger after surgery and you will be able to resume normal activities sooner.
SIGHT AFTER CORNEA TRANSPLANT
Total recovery time for cornea transplant can be up to a year or longer. Initially, your vision will be blurry for the first few months and you will need glasses or contact lenses for vision correction. Rigid gas permeable contact lenses (RGP lenses) provide the best vision correction for corneal transplant patients. Glasses prescription is given once all the stitches are removed.
As your vision improves, you will be gradually able to return to your normal daily activities. However, you should be able to return to work within two-three week after surgery, depending on your job and how quickly your vision improves.
RESULTS OF CORNEA TRANSPLANT SURGERY
Due to advancement in the surgical techniques, the success rate of Cornea transplant has significantly improved. The success of the procedure depends on the amount and type of damage the eye has sustained from disease or injury. Although vision may not be perfect after surgery, it is nearly always a lot better than it was before.