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Corneal Transplant

A cornea transplant (keratoplasty) is a surgical procedure to replace part of your cornea with corneal tissue from a donor. Your cornea is the transparent, dome-shaped surface of your eye that accounts for a large part of your eye's focusing power.

A cornea transplant can restore vision, reduce pain and improve the appearance of a damaged or diseased cornea.

Most cornea transplant procedures are successful. But cornea transplant carries a small risk of complications, such as rejection of the donor cornea.


Why it's done

A cornea transplant is most often used to restore vision to a person who has a damaged cornea. A cornea transplant may also relieve pain or other signs and symptoms associated with diseases of the cornea.

A number of conditions can be treated with a cornea transplant, including:

  • A cornea that bulges outward (keratoconus)
  • Fuchs' dystrophy
  • Thinning of the cornea
  • Cornea scarring, caused by infection or injury
  • Clouding of the cornea
  • Swelling of the cornea
  • Corneal ulcers, including those caused by infection
  • Complications caused by previous eye surgery

Risks

Cornea transplant is a relatively safe procedure. Still, it does carry a small risk of serious complications, such as:

  • Eye infection
  • Increased risk of clouding of the eye's lens (cataract)
  • Pressure increase within the eyeball (glaucoma)
  • Problems with the stitches used to secure the donor cornea
  • Rejection of the donor cornea
  • Swelling of the cornea

Signs and symptoms of Cornea Rejection

In some cases, your body's immune system may mistakenly attack the donor cornea. This is called rejection, and it may require medical treatment or another cornea transplant.

Make an appointment with your eye doctor if you notice any signs and symptoms of rejection, such as:

  • Loss of vision
  • Pain
  • Redness
  • Sensitivity to light



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