Sometimes it becomes necessary to replace a patient’s cornea. The process for this is called a corneal transplantation. Transplants are necessary in severe cases of keratoconus, hereditary corneal failure, scarring from injury or infections.
Corneal transplantation is an out-patient procedure during which the diseased cornea is removed and replaced by a healthy donor cornea. A tool called a trephine is used to cut the small “button” of tissue from both the patient and the donor, to ensure the size is exactly the same. The surgeon then sutures the tissue into place.
After the procedure, you will be required to wear a patch until the outer layer of the cornea, or the epithelium, heals. Our doctors will determine when the patch is no longer needed. Protection must be used so as to prevent any trauma to the eye. The sutures are very small and fine, and because there is no blood flow to the cornea, your eye will be slow to heal. Glasses are required during the day and a protective covering should be used at night.
DSAEK – Descemet’s Stripping Endothelial Keratoplasty
DSAEK is an innovative new procedure now used in many cases to treat patients affected by Pseudophakic Bullous Keratopathy (PBK) and other conditions affecting the endothelium, such as Fuchs’ Endothelial Dystrophy. In the past, when these diseases caused corneal clouding, the entire cornea had to be transplanted. However, now with DSAEK, the entire endothelium can be transplanted through a small incision in the cornea. DSAEK does not require many sutures, leads to faster visual recovery, and is less invasive than traditional corneal transplantation.
Our surgeons at MedEye Associates are leaders in corneal surgery. If you would like an appointment with one of our specialists, please call us at 305-661-8588 or request an appointment online.