To restore the full vision the only convenient way is the replacement of a clouded cornea. The cornea is replaceable through eye surgery if the rest of eye (including the retina and optic nerves) is in a good condition with the success rate of the advances in research and as well as the surgical techniques. However the corneal transplant is one of the most successful transplant surgeries. The success rate certainly depends on the amount of damage the eye has received from injury or disease. With the advancement of technology the success rate has reached as high as 95% these days. Whatsoever, the vision can be restored only to a certain extent which would certainly depend on the condition of the other parts of the eye.
Why Corneal Transplant?
Corneal transplantation is recommended for the pateients who have:
-Keratoconus: Problem of Vision caused by thinning of the cornea.
-Scarring of the cornea from severe infections or injuries.
-Fuchs’ dystrophy: loss of Vision caused by cloudiness of the cornea.
Patient remains awake during the transplant. Local anesthesia (numbing medicine) is injected into the eye to block pain. One may receive a sedative to relax.
The tissue for the corneal transplant comes from a person who has died recently who agreed to donate the tissue.
“Penetrating keratoplasty” is the most common type of corneal transplant. The surgeon removes a small round piece of your cornea during this procedure. Then the surgeon sews the donated cornea onto the opening of the patient’s eye. The doctor removes the stitches in a follow-up visit.
The Corneas come for transplants are generally from individuals who have donated their eyes for use after their death for the benefit of others. Donor corneal tissue can be used up to 4 days for maximum after the death of the donor depending on the modality of preservation.
With a few exceptions, donor tissues up to the age of seventy years are usable. Factors such as sex, color of the iris, previous vision of the donor have no influence on the final outcome of the surgery. Anyone wishes to donate his/her eye should call the nearest Eye bank.
Risks of Corneal Transplant:
The Risks of Corneal Transplant include the following:
1)In some cases the body rejects the transplanted tissue. This thing occurs in a very small number of patients.
2)Other risks for a corneal transplant are:
-Infection of the eye
-Glaucoma (high pressure in the eye which can cause vision loss)
-Swelling of the front of the eye
-The risks for any anesthesia are:
1. Allergic reactions to medicines
2. Breathing problems
Before and After the Procedure
One may need to limit medicines that make it hard for blood to clot for 10 days before the surgery. Some of these are aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), and warfarin (Coumadin).
One may also need to take other daily medicines in the morning of his/her surgery. But they need to check with doctor if the patient takes diuretics (water pills) or insulin or pills for diabetes.
The patient needs to stop eating and drinking most fluids after midnight the night before the surgery. One can have water, apple juice, and plain coffee or tea (without cream or sugar) up to 2 hours before surgery. Drinking of alcohol 24 hours before or after surgery is strictly prohibited.
One may go home on the same day of the surgery. Doctor may give an eye patch to wear for about 1 to 4 days.
Please note that none of our partner hospitals can help with arranging organ donors.
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