Corneal Transplant

(Keratoplasty; Penetrating Keratoplasty)

Definition

Corneal transplant is a surgical procedure used to replace a portion of a diseased or damaged cornea with a healthy one. The cornea is the clear, outer surface on the front of the eye.
Cornea of the Eye
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Reasons for Procedure

A corneal transplant can correct vision problems caused by infections, injuries, or medical conditions that effect the cornea. It is often recommended for the following:
  • Keratoconus—a thinning and bulging of the cornea that causes blurred vision
  • A cornea scarred from infection or injury
  • Clouding of the cornea
  • Complications of previous eye surgery

Possible Complications

The procedure is highly successful. Problems from the procedure are rare, but all procedures have some risk. Your doctor will review potential problems, like:
  • Rejection of the new cornea—The body’s defense system attacks the new tissue, damaging it.
  • Glaucoma
  • Problems focusing
  • Swelling or detachment of the retina
  • Cataract
  • Infection
  • Bleeding
Before your procedure, talk to your doctor about ways to manage factors that may increase your risk of complications such as:The operation is most successful for those who have the following:
  • Keratoconus
  • Corneal scars
It is less successful for those who have corneal infectionand severe injury, like a chemical burn.

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