A cornea transplant replaces diseased or scarred corneal tissue with healthy tissue from an organ donor.
There are two main types of corneal transplants: traditional, full thickness cornea transplant (also known as penetrating keratoplasty, or PK) and back layer cornea transplant (also known as endothelial keratoplasty, or EK).
A graft replaces central corneal tissue, damaged due to disease or eye injury, with healthy corneal tissue donated from a local eye bank. An unhealthy cornea affects your vision by scattering or distorting light and causing glare and blurred vision. A cornea transplant may be necessary to restore your functional vision.
When do we need Cornea Transplant?
A healthy, clear cornea is essential for good vision. If your cornea is damaged due to eye disease or eye injury, it can become swollen, scarred or severely misshapen and distort your vision.
A corneal transplant might be required in cases of conditions such as trichiasis, where eyelashes turn inward and rub against the surface of the eye, causing scarring and vision loss.
A cornea transplant may be necessary if eyeglasses or contact lenses can't restore your functional vision, or if painful swelling can't be relieved by medications or special contact lenses.
Certain conditions can affect the clarity of your cornea and put you at greater risk of corneal failure. These include:
- Scarring from infections, such as eye herpes or fungal keratitis.
- Scarring from trichiasis, when eyelashes grow inwardly, toward the eye, and rub against the cornea.
- Hereditary conditions such as Fuchs' dystrophy.
- Eye diseases such as advanced keratoconus.
- Thinning of the cornea and irregular corneal shape (such as with keratoconus).
- Rare complications from LASIK surgery.
- Chemical burns of the cornea or damage from an eye injury.
- Excessive swelling (oedema) of the cornea.
- Graft rejection following a previous corneal transplant.
- Corneal failure due to cataract surgery complications.